Leading UK publication The Sun recommends visiting Loro Parque and Siam Park during the Christmas holidays

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The Sun, the most widely read English-language newspaper in the world, with a circulation of around 3,200,000 and some 8,500,000 readers, recommended, in a recent publication, visiting Loro Parque and Siam Park during the Christmas holidays.  The newspaper has identified Tenerife as the number one destination in a list of 10 places it considers ideal to visit at Christmas, such as New York or Paris, amongst other locations.

The Canary Islands is one of the favourite destinations for British tourists, and “the whole family will love Loro Parque”, says The Sun.  “Voted the world’s best zoo by TripAdvisor users, it’s praised for its conservation work, which has saved nine species from extinction,” it continues.  It also alludes to Siam Park: “It’s another winning park, with exciting attractions and pools where you can relax”.

This mention acknowledges Loro Parque’s commitment to innovation and excellence, thanks to the company’s continuous commitment to offer its visitors innovative facilities of the highest quality.  This is why Loro Parque and Siam Park apply the latest technological developments to every detail, in matters ranging from innovation in the creation of new attractions to sustainability and respect for the environment.

Nearly 50 million visitors have visited Loro Parque since it opened its doors almost 46 years ago.  Considering that more than 700 million people visit zoos every year, both this mention and the different recognitions it has received throughout its history demonstrate that the Parque offers an unforgettable experience to its visitors, who come from all over the world.

It’s the same with Siam Park, which has been recognised as the world’s best water park for five consecutive years, being the only park to achieve this distinction so many times in a row, and also the only one to receive this award from TripAdvisor since they inaugurated their ‘water parks’ category five years ago.

For the first time in history, a study financed by the Loro Parque Foundation has analysed the personality of orcas

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A recent study, funded by the Loro Parque Foundation and initiated with the orcas of Loro Parque, has made it possible to determine the personality structure of cetaceans.  Recently published in the Journal of Comparative Psychology, it’s a pioneering project, as it’s the first time in history that the personality of these animals has been studied.

Dr. Javier Almunia, Director of the Loro Parque Foundation, explained that “personality studies in animals help us to better understand their behaviour and, in the short term, can be related to measures to improve their welfare”.  In addition, he pointed out that “a detailed knowledge of an animal’s personality allows us to individualise, for example, an environmental enrichment or its social relations, so that they adapt much better to its needs and preferences”.

In order to obtain greater statistical validity of the results, the project analysed a total of 24 orcas (housed not only in Loro Parque, but also in SeaWorld Orlando and SeaWorld San Diego).  In order to determine their personalities, a questionnaire was applied consisting of 38 adjectives, based on another used in humans: the ‘Five Factor Model’.  An average of 20 evaluators per centre, mainly trainers with an median of eight years experience with the animals, evaluated all the adjectives for the study sample.

“The most relevant part of the research is that it’s the first time that the personality structure of a cetacean has been obtained.  In recent years, a large number of personality studies have been carried out on a wide range of animals – including invertebrates, insects and fish – but curiously in cetaceans, personality studies had only been carried out on bottlenose dolphins, focused on the search for correlations and not on obtaining the personality structure of the species”, said Yulán Úbeda, author of the study and a researcher at the University of Girona.

Unable to compare the results obtained for orcas with the personality structure of other cetaceans, Úbeda and his team compared the results with those of humans and chimpanzees, finding a high similarity in the personality structure between these species.  According to the study, the orca personality is composed of four factors: Extraversion, a combined factor of Responsibility and Kindness, Dominance and Prudence.  The first three coincide with those found in chimpanzees, published in a previous study by the author in Evolutionary Psychology, whilst similarity with humans is also reflected in the scores obtained for the adjectives.

The similarity of results found between these species could suggest an evolutionary convergence.  Thus, the scientist has concluded that “despite the high evolutionary distance between cetaceans and primates, the adaptation to very different environments and a very disparate neuroanatomical organisation, some primates and cetaceans show convergence in complex cognitive abilities – such as cooperation, cultural transmission or the presence of complex social structures, among others – and even very similar encephalization quotients, so that this type of personality structure found in cetaceans and complex primates could be associated with the cognitive and social complexity presented by these species”.

The Loro Parque Foundation and the Canary Islands Government present ‘CanBio’, a joint project to study the effects of climate change on the sea

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The Loro Parque foundation and the Canary Islands Government have, this morning, Thursday November 15, presented ‘CanBio’, a pioneering project through which the University of La Laguna (ULL) and the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC) will study the effects of climate change in the sea. Present at the event were the Canary Islands Minister of Economy, Industry, Trade and Knowledge Pedro Ortega, the founder and Honorary President of The Loro Parque Foundation Wolfgang Kiessling and the rector of the ULPGC Rafael Robaina, as well as researchers from the Canary Islands public universities.

The project plans to invest two meuros over four years, spread over several lines of work ranging from monitoring the parameters of marine chemistry, to the study of communities of algae, angel sharks or sea turtles. The Foundation, based in what is recognised as the world’s best zoo, will thus be helping the dissemination of as much information as possible to monitor the effects of global change in the Canary Islands.

This agreement between the Foundation and the Canary Islands Government has been reached after a detailed technical evaluation with research groups from the two Canarian universities and other scientific research centres, and will initiate the development of a coastal network for monitoring marine environmental parameters linked to climate change, ocean acidification and underwater noise pollution, as well as their effects on the marine biodiversity of the Canary Islands.

The project activities will focus on three main axis: the absorption of CO2 by the ocean, climate change and ocean acidification; the acoustic environment, underwater noise and its effects on fauna and the loss of marine biodiversity and the effects on the Islands species and marine ecosystems.

All these actions establish synergies with the previous activity of The Loro Parque Foundation in the archipelago and, in each case, will provide essential information with which to interpret the effects that global change will produce in the marine organisms of the Canary Islands and Macaronesia. Thus, the region will become a world reference, providing relevant data on climate change for the international community, as well as helping to diagnose the effects of global change in the area.

In addition, this agreement will lay the foundations to guarantee the future development of time series stations and ocean measurements in the region, with technology produced in the Canary Islands. In this way, The Loro Parque Foundation reinforces its commitment to become a scientific and technological reference within the framework of global change and the Blue Economy.

Loro Parque and Poema del Mar join other aquariums and the European Commission to fight against plastic

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As part of their commitment to the protection of wild species and their natural habitats, Loro Parque and Poema del Mar have decided to join forces with the European Commission and the United Nations Environment Programme, as well as other international partners, to launch a coalition of aquariums to fight plastic pollution.  Aquariums around the world will organise permanent activities at their facilities and change their policies to eliminate all single-use plastic items.

This new action is part of a strategy that the Loro Parque Company began at the beginning of this year (2018), by which it has been replacing numerous products by alternatives made with biodegradable and compostable materials, which are more environmentally responsible.  Thus, Loro Parque has recently announced the replacement of single-use plastic water bottles with biodegradable and compostable ones, becoming one of the pioneering European zoos in taking a decision of such magnitude and in ceasing the generation of single-use plastic bottles as waste.

This coalition, dubbed ‘World aquariums #ReadyToChange to #BeatPlasticPollution’, aims to be able to count on at least 200 aquariums by 2019 to increase public awareness of the pollution caused by plastics.  All participating entities will commit to promoting best practices in the use of plastics at local, regional, national and global levels.

The announcement of this campaign follows the overwhelming vote in the European Parliament this week on the Commission’s proposal for a ban on certain single-use plastic articles by 2021.  “Aquariums are a window to our ocean,” said Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.  “With their collections and educational programmes, they show us what we have to protect and inspire lovers of tomorrow’s oceans.  Millions of people visit aquariums around the world every year.  This will move them to rethink the way we use plastics.”

Serious threat to marine species

Enormous quantities of plastic waste pollute seas and coasts, and threaten most marine species.  Whilst cleaning beaches is an important and necessary measure, it’s urgent that society change its production and consumption habits, as well as its behaviour, to prevent plastics from entering the environment in the first place.

The Loro Parque Company promotes its new products at the World Travel Market

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Loro Parque, Siam Park, Poema del Mar, Hotel Botánico and Brunelli’s are taking part this week in the World Travel Market, the prestigious business-to-business travel fair held annually in London with the aim of publicising the most important novelties that the Company is making available to its customers.

Loro Parque, recognised as the best zoo in the world for the second year in a row by TripAdvisor users, is proving that it continues to be firmly committed to biodiversity conservation and innovation in its facilities.  On this occasion, it’s presenting two new recently inaugurated and impressive exhibits: the Zen Garden, a submerged aquarium unique in the world that perfectly maintains the balance between flora and fauna, and the as close to nature as possible installation for the Pygmy Hippos, specially designed to provide the greatest welfare for the new guests.  Loro Parque Foundation, for its part, and after winning in 2015 the World Travel Leaders Award given by World Travel Market, continues to play an important role in the educational and conservation work that identifies Loro Parque.

Siam Park is presented, for the fifth consecutive year, as the best water park in the world, and continues to reap international success.  In World Travel Market you can consult its latest prizes, among which the European Star Awards stands out for the best water park in Europe for the seventh consecutive year.  This year, two new attractions are captivating all the professionals who are attending the fair: Patong Rapids, a new ride that breaks with all the moulds surpassing the already incredible Mekong Rapids, and Coco Beach, a new children’s area that allows the younger children to enjoy great adventures in the company of their family.

For its part, Poema del Mar is taking advantage of the international meeting to take stock, now that it is about to celebrate the first anniversary since its opening in December of last year.  The new great aquarium of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has had unprecedented success, showing its visitors impressive aquatic species from all over the world.  Among its facilities, Deep Sea stands out, an exhibition with the world’s largest curved glass window, which reproduces the most profound of the ocean depths.

Brunelli’s is present at the fair for the fourth consecutive year to present its exquisite gastronomic offer, starring the most select cuts of meat.  The restaurant, located opposite Loro Parque in Puerto de La Cruz, offers a refined atmosphere and the best sea views in the Canary Islands, in addition to its exclusive Southbend oven, unique in the archipelago.  This year it has been distinguished with the award as the best meat restaurant in Tenerife according to TripAdvisor.

The Hotel Botánico*****GL, for its part, is taking the opportunity to publicise the quality and comfort offered by its facilities, ideal for living a dream vacation in this hotel which has been recognised this year with the TUI Holly award, placing it among the 100 best hotels in the world, among the 12,000 which work with the TUI Group.  Its new Ayurveda treatments, its magnificent spa complex, The Oriental Spa Garden, and its incredible and varied gastronomic offer are an incomparable presentation showcase.

The Loro Parque Foundation wants to extend the moratorium on medium frequency military sonar to the whole region of Macaronesia

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The Loro Parque Foundation announced today, Thursday October 25, during the press conference to present the XIV International Forum for Nature Conservation, its intention to push for the extension on the moratorium on medium frequency military sonar in the Canary Islands to cover the whole of Macaronesia.  This initiative, which has the unanimous support of the Government of the Canary Islands and MEPs from the European Outermost Regions, is an important step towards the protection of cetaceans in the region.

Present at the event were the Deputy Minister for the Environment of the Government of the Canary Islands Blanca Delia Pérez, the President of the Spanish Committee of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Juan Antonio López, and the President of Loro Parque Foundation Christoph Kiessling.  This year the forum, which discusses the effects of climate change and exotic and invasive species in the marine environment, is being hosted by the Foundation at the Hotel Botánico in Puerto de La Cruz.

The meeting was the perfect occasion for the announcement of a project that will protect cetaceans from the changes in behaviour generated by exposure to sonar and will consequently result in the reduction of injuries and strandings directly related to naval manoeuvres in Macaronesian waters.

Proven success in the Canary Islands.

After the link between cetacean strandings and various other injuries with naval manoeuvres and sonar noise became evident, and following the recommendation of a European Parliament resolution, the Spanish Government established a moratorium on the use of naval sonar in the Canary Islands in November 2004.  During the 14 years since this decision was taken, there have been no atypical mass strandings on the Islands, which proves its effectiveness as a mitigation measure.

The expansion of the moratorium to the rest of the countries in the region would mean the effective protection of more than 3.5 million square kilometres, which represents 85 per cent of this hot spot of biodiversity for cetaceans that is the Macaronesian region.

An update on the progress of Morgan’s calf

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We are pleased to report that Morgan’s calf is continuing to gain weight and is growing stronger every day. Morgan’s milk production has been lower than what is required to meet the young calf’s nutritional needs, so it has been necessary to introduce regular bottle feeding. That decision is already showing positive results and the team of experts who are monitoring the calf around the clock are encouraged by its physical and mental progress as the young orca swims and plays.

While we would rather see Morgan able to breastfeed, the health and wellbeing of the calf are the top priority. In the wild, orca calves do not survive if their mothers are unable to produce enough milk.

Fortunately – thanks to our world-leading facilities, vets, and consultants – we can provide the calf with a specialized and nutritious formula consisting of milk, blended fish, and other essential vitamins and ingredients that are combined with the milk Morgan is able to produce. The formula has been developed by marine mammal veterinarians and animal nutritionists and it is clear that the calf is feeling the benefits.

In the interests of safety for mother, calf, and the experts assisting them, while bottle feeding takes place the pair are currently in different pools immediately adjacent to one another. Both mother and calf show signs they are relaxed and comfortable while this period of bottle feeding takes place.

We offer our heartfelt thanks once again for the continued messages of support. The team will continue to provide updates as and when we have new information.

Loro Parque welcomes the American Humane Association Board of Directors

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Loro Parque has received, this morning, Thursday October 11, the Board of Directors and some collaborators of the American Humane Association, who have come to the Islands directly from the U.S. to get to know the facilities of the zoo recognised as the best in the world according to TripAdvisor.

The delegation, headed by its CEO and president, Dr. Robin Ganzert, toured the different exhibitions and were able to enjoy the presentations of the orcas and dolphins offered by the Parque, in addition to learning first hand the work of the Loro Parque Foundation in conservation matters thanks to a relaxed talk with its director Dr. Javier Almunia.

Dr. Ganzert was accompanied by the famous actress and producer Barbara Niven, as well as by the well-known Mrs. Candy Spelling, author and widow of the famous Hollywood producer Aaron Spelling. Their marriage gave birth to two children, actor Randy Gene Spelling and Victoria Davey (Tori) Spelling, known for appearing in several Aaron Spelling productions, the most notable being Beverly Hills 90210.

Also with them were John Payne, president of the Board of Directors – with over 33 years of experience in the animal care industry and founder of Compassion-First Pet Hospitals, a group of highly reputable veterinary hospitals – and Dawn Assenzio, secretary of the Board and organiser of the famous K-9 Battle Buddies, an event that honours the bravery and courage of military dogs and their handlers.

Wellbeing certificate

In 2017, this prestigious entity certified the positive welfare status of all the animals in Loro Parque, which became the first zoo in Europe to achieve this standard. Amongst the many aspects taken into consideration, the excellent state of health and housing; positive social interactions within animal groups, and between animals and carers; safe environments, with appropriate lighting and sound levels, good air quality and thermoregulation; and evidence of preparedness and protocols in place to prevent and manage medical emergencies were highlighted.

American Humane, an association with more than 140 years of experience, focuses its efforts on ensuring the welfare of animals through the evaluation of various parameters of the life of the specimens that inhabit zoos, aquariums and centres of conservation around the world. It’s also responsible for the famous phrase “No animal has been harmed during the filming of this film”, which appears in Hollywood feature films thanks to its ‘Humane Hollywood’ programme, which ensures the welfare of all animals in productions.

The IX Loro Parque Foundation Parrot Congress, a resounding success

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A resounding success: that is the summary of the IX Parrot Congress organised by the Loro Parque Foundation and held last week in Tenerife, where 850 congress participants of 47 different nationalities met.  The experience, unique in the world, counted on the participation of the most recognised experts in the field worldwide.

This record number of nationalities present has allowed the interaction of the congress participants with various professionals and experts in different scientific areas, native to each continent where the Loro Parque Foundation develops multiple conservation projects among which are those that have managed to save nine parrot species from extinction.  Up to now the Loro Parque Foundation has donated over 18 million dollars to support conservation projects for endangered species around the world.

During the Congress some of the most successful results obtained so far by the projects carried out by the Foundation were detailed, which show that the protection of parrot species also favours the protection of other species.  Thus, thanks to these projects it has even been possible to identify new species of fauna -especially reptiles- as well as flora.

A total of 22 international speakers, whose conferences were simultaneously translated into four languages, have contributed their experiences and knowledge throughout this week in which, in addition to talks, many other actions were carried out.  This year, in response to an unprecedented demand, intensive workshops were given in the days following the Congress, in which different experts have offered direct training in different fields linked to the world of conservation.

This Congress, unique in the world due to its nature and extraordinary convocation capacity, has moved some 1,000 people around the Island, congress attendees and their companions, who have been able to enjoy the excellence of the climate of Puerto de la Cruz as well as the biodiversity of the Canary Islands.  The social programme of the convention also included an impressive typical Canarian dinner in the Plaza del Palacio Municipal in La Orotava; another, no less important, in the Auditorium of Santa Cruz de Tenerife; a visit to the Island of Gran Canaria to enjoy the Poema del Mar Aquarium, and, finally, a memorable Gala Dinner in the gardens of the Botánico Hotel.

Big week in Loro Parque

 As part of the celebration of the IX Parrot Congress, Loro Parque has also inaugurated its new installation of Pygmy Hippos.  The event was enjoyed by a large number of congress attendees, as well as numerous local authorities and representatives of the private sector, who were able to observe up-close an unparalleled naturalised space designed especially by the Park’s team for the new arrivals.

In addition, also as part of the Congress programme, the Loro Parque Foundation has awarded the prestigious Gorilla Prize to Rosemary Low, a passionate defender of parrots who has dedicated her life to these birds through breeding and conservation.  This year saw the fifteenth edition of this award, which emphasises environmental responsibility, taking into account strategies and actions to conserve biodiversity and promote the sustainable use of resources.

Loro Parque Foundation awards the best End-of-Graduate Studies in Science at the University of La Laguna

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The Loro Parque Foundation, a non-profit organisation whose objectives include the conservation of endangered species and their habitats, the promotion of scientific research aimed at the conservation of biodiversity and education and awareness of threats affecting the planet, sponsors the Awards of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of La Laguna to the best End of Grade Work (TFG) presented during the academic year 2017-18, with the aim of stimulating educational excellence and encouraging efforts related to the conservation of both terrestrial and marine biodiversity, as well as protection and environmental sustainability.

Applications must be submitted to the Secretary of the Faculty of Sciences in writing or by e-mail addressed to the Secretary of the Faculty of Sciences (secretci@ull.edu.es), expressing interest in participating in this competition, indicating the name of the author of the TFG, as well its title. The deadline for submission will be Monday 29 October, 2018 at 2pm.

Two groups of four prizes will be awarded.  On the one hand, the best TFGs presented in Biology  will be awarded, and on the other in the degrees of Environmental Sciences, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics.  In all cases, the prize amounts will be as follows: a first prize of €1,200, a second prize of €800, a third prize of €600 and a fourth prize of €400. The awards will be presented at a public event as part of the activities organised at the Faculty of Science to celebrate the feast of its patron.

In the case of the Biology awards, any of those registered in the academic year 2017-2018 will be eligible. In the case of the Environmental Sciences, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics, to be eligible for the competition the papers presented should deal with the following themes: conservation and biodiversity of the terrestrial and marine environment; evaluation and management of the natural environment; environmental sustainability, environmental protection and environmental education; and water and waste management.

  Regulations: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vqYUQyai7p-MmTtkPAEBC01yR5gw2HYy/view