Loro Parque inaugurates the new exhibition of Pygmy Hippos

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Loro Parque has inaugurated today, Tuesday September 25, the new facilities for the Pygmy Hippos, in an act that was attended by the President of Loro Parque Wolfgang Kiessling, Tenerife’s Tourism Councillor Alberto Bernabé, and the Mayor of Puerto de La Cruz Lope Afonso, among other authorities. These new members of the Parque’s family, two females arriving directly from Germany and the Czech Republic, now live together in a naturalised facility specially designed for them.

Nearly a thousand people, including political and civil authorities and representatives of the business sector, as well as attendees of the IX Parrot Congress organised by the Loro Parque Foundation, which takes place this week and has hosted on the island more than 800 participants from over 40 different nationalities, have been able to contemplate this new exhibition in which Adela and Malela, as the Hippos are called, act as representatives of their fellows in nature, who face serious problems, especially the destruction of their habitat.

Loro Parque has designed an unparalleled naturalised space for the newcomer Pygmy Hippos, whose new home is perfectly adapted to the needs of their species. The installation has floor heating and a complete water filtration system, an essential element for these animals, who need to keep their bodies hydrated and at an adequate temperature. Thus, the exhibition recreates a marshy, humid and leafy area, similar to the dense African lowland forests of which this species is native, and which usually always live around the banks of a river.

Visitors to the Park can now observe their daily activity in detail thanks to a large window that shows these charismatic hippos in their maximum splendour. Although this species is characterised by its shyness and nocturnal habits, the design of the facility allows us to know them better and become more aware of the need to protect them.

As an endangered species according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the role of wildlife conservation centres such as Loro Parque is essential to make their situation visible and to make visitors aware of the importance of protecting them to avoid their disappearance.

So, after the grand opening of the Zen Garden just a few months ago – a submerged garden unique on the planet – and after receiving the recent recognition of TripAdvisor as the best zoo in the world for the second year in a row, Loro Parque is once again bringing new surprises for those who appreciate its great commitment to wildlife in all its beauty and diversity.

Loro Parque Foundation kicks off its IX Parrot Congress

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Loro Parque Foundation’s IX International Parrot Congress of Loro Parque Fundación was presented this morning, Tuesday, September 25, at Puerto de La Cruz’s Congress Centre.  The event, unique in the world, has attracted to the island some 800 participants of 47 different nationalities, and celebrated its opening last night in the wonderful facilities of the Hotel Botánico.

The press conference was attended by the Mayor of Puerto de La Cruz, Lope Afonso Hernández, the President of the Loro Parque Company, Wolfgang Kiessling, and the Scientific Director of Loro Parque Foundation, Rafael Zamora.

Firstly, the President of the Loro Parque Company wanted to highlight the importance of an event such as the International Parrot Congress, which is held every four years and brings together in Puerto de La Cruz the most important experts in the field worldwide, in a unique environment.  He also took the opportunity to review the latest developments in the Parque, such as the new installation for the Pygmy Hippos, which was inaugurated this afternoon, and highlighting the Company’s ongoing commitment to nature, using as an example the strategy for the elimination of single-use plastic in their installations, which is already in its final phase.

For his part, the Mayor of Puerto highlighted how Loro Parque has been able to organise the largest congress of the decade, bringing together a large number of people who will be enjoying the scientific interchange, but also the city, the Hotel Botánico, and of course, the rest of the Islands.  In addition, he pointed out that it’s another opportunity to put the name of Puerto de La Cruz in the forefront of the minds of people in the five continents from which the congress attendees come.

Finally, the Foundation’s Scientific Director, Rafael Zamora, assured that among the topics that will be dealt with in the Congress are animal welfare, parrot conservation – a very important part of the Loro Parque Foundation, which has been working for years with recognised successes – and the maintenance of birds in a controlled environment.  Zamora also stressed that this is a unique event, bringing together more than 1,000 people in a tourism that looks to protect nature.

In this edition, and in response to an unprecedented demand, intensive workshops will be given during the three days following the Congress, in which different experts will offer direct training in different fields linked to the world of conservation.

For more information about the IX Parrot Conference: http://www.loroparque-fundacion.org/congreso/index.php/es/

An update on the newborn calf of the orca Morgan

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The first days in the life of a cetacean are critical and we have all been encouraged by Morgan’s strong maternal instincts and the way she is nurturing and taking care of her calf. Establishing breastfeeding is crucial in this early phase and our team of veterinarians and external consultants are closely monitoring both mother and calf to see that this happens. Over the first 24 hours Morgan’s milk production has been lower than we would like, meaning it may be necessary to introduce bottle feeding to ensure that the calf is getting the nourishment it needs. We sincerely hope that nature can take its course and that Morgan can feed her calf independently. However, we are watching the situation carefully and will assist with bottle feeding, if the experts consider that the life of the calf is at risk.

We wish to take this opportunity to say thank you for all the kind messages we have received from all over the world as we celebrate the birth of Morgan’s calf. We will continue to provide updates as they enjoy their first days together.

Loro Parque welcomes a newborn calf of the orca Morgan

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Loro Parque has good news to share: the orca Morgan that was rescued after being found near dead near the coast of the Wadden Sea in the Netherlands and that forms part of our group of orcas, gave birth to her first calf this morning, which finds itself in a perfect state of health. From the very first moment, Morgan demonstrated to be an exemplary mother attending to her newborn, which is swimming next to its mother in the installations of the ‘OrcaOcean’.

The orca Morgan was rescued at the coast of the Wadden Sea in 2010 and was attended by a team of experts of the Harderwijk Dolphinarium in an effort to help the lost animal, which showed such a severe malnutrition that the animal was only skin and bones. In this moment, Morgan only weighed 430 Kg and the keepers of the Dutch dolphinarium were not sure that the animal was going to survive the first night after its rescue. They, however, were hopeful that with a proper level of care, affection and attention of the care givers, as well as with the adequate nutrition, the animal could make a recovery.

Thanks to all these efforts of the team at Harderwijk, the animal began to recover its weight and strength, and as the Harderwijk installations were not prepared to keep orcas, the Dutch authorities initiated a formal commission to determine the future of the orca Morgan. A group of international and independent experts came to the conclusion that there were only two viable alternatives for the animal: euthanasia or to be kept at an installation of an aquarium that complied with the necessary conditions for this animal species.

At this moment, as Loro Parque had the most modern installations for orcas in existence, the Park was contacted to see if it would accept the animal. Despite all the challenges that this request represented, Loro Parque accepted the petition, thus, avoiding the only other alternative that was left for the animal: the euthanasia.

After a few months at our installations, the orca Morgan adapted to the new conditions and integrated perfectly into the existing group of orcas at Loro Parque. At the same time, it was discovered that the orca suffered a severe hearing deficiency, which was yet another argument to confirm that animal was incapable to survive on her own in nature.

Given this last circumstance, there were a number of questions as to what exactly a delivery would imply for the animal without a hearing capacity. Today, Loro Parque would like to share the great news: the delivery went in a completely normal manner and the first hours after the birth have been developing in accordance with the best expectations.

It is impossible to know the gender of the new calf yet, although the most important issue now is that both, the mother and the calf, find themselves in a perfect state of health. Loro Parque will be informing the public about the development of the situation, and would like to take this opportunity to thank all its visitors from many different parts of the world, the tour operators and all the collaborators in the scientific field for all the support to the Loro Parque mission: to protect and conserve animals and their natural habitats for future generations.

The Loro Parque Foundation starts its IX Parrot Congress this Monday

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Since the first edition was held in 1986, the Loro Parque Foundation Parrot Congress brings together a multitude of scientists, biologists and conservation and veterinary medicine professionals in general, as well as students from different parts of the world. As usual, the line-up of speakers in this edition also brings together experts from the most diverse corners of the planet.

The Congress will also feature an original ‘wining & dining’ leisure programme that will allow attendees to visit emblematic places on the island while enjoying different parallel activities. In addition, for the first time this year, an excursion has been organised to Gran Canaria to visit Poema del Mar, where participants will enjoy the impressive marine life in an incomparable setting.

Also in this edition, and in response to an unprecedented demand, intensive workshops will be given during the three days following the Congress, in which different experts will offer direct training in different fields linked to the world of conservation.

These types of activities generate a very positive impact for the Islands, because they attract a tourism that appreciates nature and seeks to know the different attractions of the archipelago, extending their holidays to do so. September is also one of the most spectacular months in the Canary Islands, with long sunny days, dreamy sunsets and beaches that invite long walks. The IX Parrot Congress will undoubtedly be a unique opportunity to share, learn and enjoy in an unequalled environment.

Those interested in applying for press passes can now do so by sending an email to dir.comunicacion@loroparque.com.

Loro Parque hosts the start of the Puerto de La Cruz Summer Carnival

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The presentation of Puerto de La Cruz’s Summer Carnival, held today, Friday September 14, in Loro Parque, has launched a weekend in which the protagonists will be the comparsas (dance groups), batucadas (drum groups), orchestras, parades and street parties, amongst other activities. This is already the third year of this initiative, which, following the success of previous years, will fill the streets with music and colour to become once more a cultural and tourist attraction in the municipality.

The event held in Loro Parque, which was recently recognised as the best zoo in the world for the second consecutive year according to TripAdvisor, was honoured with a great performance by the Rio Orinoco comparsa, which infused everyone present with its rhythm and carnival movement. The inaugural act, full of colour, joy and life, was attended by the Councillors for the areas of Festivals and Tourism Ruymán García and Dimple Melwani, the Commercial Director of Loro Parque Jorge Vega, the Director of Communication of the Compañía Cervecera de Canarias (Cerveza Dorada) Luis Durango, and the French artist with a Canarian accent Poupie, who conquered all of Spain after her passage through the Telecinco contest Factor X.

In the first place, the Commercial Director of Loro Parque assured those present that it already seems as much a tradition to receive the title of best zoo in the world as to celebrate the Summer Carnival. In addition, he insisted that this festivity represents a great joy not only for the residents of Puerto de la Cruz, but for all tourists who have the opportunity to enjoy it.

For his part, the head of Festivities Ruymán García, presented the official poster of the Carnival of Puerto de la Cruz 2019, made by the artist Jonás Emanuel, which will be called ‘Invasión Carnavalera’ (Carnival Invasion). Also, García ran through the entire programme established for these three days of celebration, highlighting the performance of Poupie. In addition, he insisted that “it’s a summer season in which we can boast of a carnival that each year has been more successful.

The Councillor for Tourism Dimple Melwani, also thanked the Carnival groups “the real protagonists” for their presence and for making the event possible. She congratulated the Kiessling family too for winning TripAdvisor’s 2018 Travellers Choice Award for the second year in a row. “I recently read that there are almost 50 million people who have visited the Park and, therefore, 50 million who also visit our tourist city and can share their experience with everyone”.

“This is an event that I am convinced will continue to grow. It’s important to take advantage of the good tourist period that we are going through to consolidate these initiatives that help to differentiate our offer and allows us to promote a very diverse cultural and leisure agenda throughout the year,” added the Councillor for Tourism.

In addition, Luis Durango, Communication Director of the Compañía Cervecera de Canarias, highlighted the link between the Dorada brand and the Carnival, and wanted to underline his hopes for their continued participation in future editions of this festivity.

Puerto de la Cruz’s Summer Carnival also counts on the support of the Urban Consortium for the Rehabilitation of Puerto de la Cruz, which since its beginnings has encouraged this initiative that energises the city.

The formal act of presentation kicks off a weekend full of life and colour that will continue to the frenetic rhythm of Carnival. Avenida Colón, Paseo San Telmo and the Plaza de Europa will be the main centres where the different events will take place, which will end next Sunday, September 16, with the performance of the fanfarrias (drum and cornet bands).

For more information about the Summer Carnival: https://www.facebook.com/PuertodelaCruz/photos/pcb.1759526394096742/1759523727430342/?type=3&theater

Scientists considering capturing sick orca J50 to give her medical treatment

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Source: https://globalnews.ca/news/4442164/scientists-sick-orca-j50-treatment/

With the condition of sick orca J50 growing increasingly dire, scientists are now considering a last-ditch plan to capture the emaciated killer whale for treatment.

“Most of us think J50 is really sick,” Vancouver Aquarium head veterinarian Martin Haulena said.

“She is in such poor body condition that every other whale that has ever looked like her has already passed away.”

J50 has been dosed with antibiotics and anti-worming medication but so far efforts to treat her have been unsuccessful and they’ve noted a decline in her condition over the last month.

So now, if the whale gets separated from her pod or gets stranded on a beach, a plan is being discussed to take her into captivity so she can be fed and given intensive medical treatment.

While veterinarians know such a move would be controversial, they say the other option is to let the whale die, which would be a major setback for the population of just 75 remaining resident orcas.

“What’s important here is that all these people have this common goal of whatever happens to her, we want to do the very best we can to find out what’s wrong with her, treat her successfully and reintroduce her back to her family as quickly as possible.”

When Whales Get Sick, Activists Show Their True Colors

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Original source: https://petlife.media/when-whales-get-sick-activists-show-their-true-colors

Earlier last month, I wrote about how the Southern Resident orca population off the coast of Washington state had been placed on the international spotlight when an adult female known as Tahlequah, also known as J35, spent seventeen days carrying around her calf, who died shortly after birth. Around the same time, her cousin, J50, also known as Scarlet, began to battle malnutrition as a result of not being able to feed on Chinook salmon, the primary food source of this endangered orca population. After several attempts to feed her live fish and darting her with medications as a way to treat a possible infection, the US National Marine Fisheries Service has now suggested a plan that might be the only thing that could save her life-capturing Scarlet by locating her to a sea pen where she would be rehabilitated until she is healthy enough to rejoin her pod. Sounds like a simple idea to a complicated issue right? While it seems so ideal, there is one group of people who are in the way of this: the animal rights movement.

Activists claim that any kind of intervention that is aimed at saving Scarlet’s life would result in her having to be separated from her family and it would only serve as a reminder of orca captures that took place off the Washington coast during the 60s and 70s. Some activists even want nature to “take its course” on the four-year-old orca, but here is the thing though: Although the rescue attempt would have to require Scarlet to be separated, it would only be a temperate one since this rescue would involve the animal being rehabilitated for a period of time in hopes of being returned to her family. However, any chance that Scarlet would be taken into human care for rehabilitation under government orders would be very unlikely because of the undying hatred that these extremists have for any zoo or aquarium that houses marine mammals. In fact, these extremists and the groups that they are often associated with, have a very unrealistic and romantic view of what life is like for killer whales and other marine mammals out in their natural habitat. This view is not only dangerous to the welfare of the animal in question but also to the general public, who might cave into such views, which in the end can overshadow the fact that this orca population is threatened by loss of food source and the effects of pollution.

The specialists that the US National Marine Fisheries has employed to address Scarlet’s case are trying everything they can to find a solution that is aimed at saving her life. Yet, they are constantly being given “advice” by those who do not know anything about marine veterinary medicine or wildlife rehabilitation. Those who work for zoos and aquariums are also trying to help the government with the situation, but even they are not safe from the ongoing harassment that they are always getting from activists who use emotional tactics to criticize them for even being involved in saving Scarlet in the first place. It really seems like these activists don’t really understand that there are certain steps that are being taken to try and save this animal can be directly linked to having orcas in human care and learning how to better care for them over the years.

As someone who has interned at a marine wildlife rehabilitation facility that’s specialized in rescuing and rehabilitating dolphins and sea turtles, I can say that Scarlet’s condition is poor, but her situation is not going to get any better if activists are going to use social media as a method of attacking both government and zoological officials over what is best for the well-being of this endangered mammal. These ill-informed and scientifically illiterate comments are continuing to be thrown at anyone who is trying to help her in a very difficult circumstance.

It just sickens me that these people, the kind who claim to believe that all animals have the right to live without pain or suffering, would even think that Scarlet would be “better off dead” than be subjected to any kind of human intervention that has the potential to save her life. This is especially if this intervention would involve having Scarlet be temporarily held in human care for a period of time without losing her connection to her pod. Activists really need to take a moment, look at themselves in the mirror, and actually consider what they are saying could actually hurt this animal in the end. Their hostile attitudes will, in the end, do more harm to wildlife and do any good.

Loro Parque Gives a Warm Welcome to Two Pygmy Hippos

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After the grand opening of the Zen Garden, a submerged garden unique worldwide, was celebrated just a few months ago, and after receiving the recent recognition of TripAdvisor as the world’s Number One zoo for the second consecutive year, Loro Parque is once again bringing new surprises for those who appreciate its great commitment to wildlife in all its beauty and diversity.

This time, as part of its ongoing commitment to conservation, Loro Parque welcomes two new members to its large zoological family tomorrow, Saturday September 1: two Pygmy Hippos who are arriving directly from Germany and the Czech Republic to live together in a naturalised facility specially designed for them.  In the Parque, they will act as representatives of their peers in nature, who are facing serious problems, due in particular to the destruction of their habitat.

Adela and Malela, both females, will live in a space that recreates the swampy areas where this species lives in the wild, with water as the main element.  As they do not sweat, contact with the air dries their skin very quickly, so water is vital to lowering their body temperature and keeping their bodies hydrated.

Pygmy Hippos are vegetarians, consuming mainly leaves, ferns, herbs, roots, fallen fruit and shrubs, as well as semi-aquatic plants, which they eat from time to time.  Unlike most animals, this species uses its lips instead of the teeth to gobble up food.

A unique feature of this species from the African continent is that, unlike common hippos, they do not have their young in the water, but give birth on land and the young are able to swim immediately after birth.

Without a doubt, the arrival of these two female Pygmy Hippopotami at Loro Parque will allow the visitors from around the globe to discover a magnificent species, which is in danger of extinction according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

New surprise attraction: Ringed-Tail Lemurs

Very close to the new facility that will host the Pygmy Hippos, visitors will be able to discover a species from Madagascar of great charisma – Ringed Tail Lemurs, which are also endangered in nature.  Familiar and very sociable, they belong to a primitive group of primates, which are associated in clans of up to 30 individuals and are usually dominated by the females.

Unfortunately, habitat loss due to mining, logging and hunting, among other threats faced by the species in the wild, has led to a population decline of more than 50 per cent over the past 30 years.  Their presence in Loro Parque will thus help to raise awareness among visitors of their precarious situation in Madagascar.

Loro Parque, as a wildlife conservation centre, has affirmed that it is happy to be able to share these innovative facilities with all its visitors and wanted to reiterate its gratitude: to its fans on social networks for all the messages of support and congratulations for their work; to the tour operators, for their important commitment to a zoo whose priority is animal welfare and to all the collaborators in the scientific field, for sharing with the Loro Parque team their mission – to protect and conserve animals and their natural habitats for future generations.

The Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Conservation (ZGAP) supports Loro Parque

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Source: http://www.loroparque.com/press/en/component/k2/item/download/23_bf0dc5ed5c901a643f15b9df674d6952

Dear Dr. Frankhauser,

The travel company, Thomas Cook, recently announced that as of summer 2019 they will no longer sell trips to fecilities that care for orcas (Orcinus orca).

We, the Zoologische Gesellschaft Für Arten und Populationsschutz. e. V./Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Conservation (ZGAP) are certain that Loro Parque, as our long-term species conservation partner, has been caring successfully and to the highest welfare standards for orcas for 20 years. Therefore, the husbandry of orcas in this institution is by no means an “animal welfare” matter, but most unfortunately, triggered by the extremist animal rights industry, solely a matter of animal rights ideology.

Loro Parque is with no doubt and for very good reasons recognized as a leader in Conservation, Education and Research and, in addition, they recently achieved a 100% rating in a focused animal welfare audit as part of the requirements laid down by Thomas Cook. Global conservation research programs involving orca at the park have also contributed to the development of prototype devices that use vocalizations to aid open sea orca protection and welfare.

That announcement by Thomas Cook cites “animal welfare” as a driver for their decision. However, to our greatest disappointment and concern they do not appear to have considered the proven high animal welfare record that Loro Parque has. It is also difficult to understand the motives of Thomas Cook whereby they require a facility to undergo a welfare audit and then disregard the results.

ZGAP strongly and kindly encourages Thomas Cook to reconsider their decision, specifically as it relates to EAZA Accredited facilities like Loro Parque who, in addition, have passed the Thomas Cook welfare audit requirements.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Jens-Ove Heckel

ZGAP President