Today we are saddened to announce the passing of Pole Pole, a Western Lowland Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla), who was a part of the Loro Parque family since 1995. Originally from the Zurich Zoo, Pole Pole was a true ambassador for his species and a true pillar within our group of single males, and we will miss him very much!
For the past 5 years, Pole Pole had been struggling with a degenerative disease that affected his spine in the lumbar region causing the decline of his physical condition. Recently, his health deteriorated further due to unexpected complications caused by a possible stroke and, after consultation with the experts of the international EEP (European Endangered Species Programme) to which Pole Pole belonged, it was concluded that humane euthanasia was the only alternative for the animal. Throughout his final years, we were able to guarantee him the highest possible quality of life, adapting the facility to his needs and providing him with all the care he required.
It is common for the zoological parks to take in wild animals that, due to specific conditions, could not survive in the wild, such as animals that reach a very advanced age and have natural processes associated with ageing that would cause their death. However, in zoos we have the possibility to offer an excellent quality of life for such animals for many years to come. Such is the case of Schorsch, a gorilla of almost 50 years with serious vision impairment, who lives in Loro Parque and counts with the enormous affection of all his keepers who, very lovingly, take care of him and provide him with everything he requires, at the same time also adapting his daily routines with the sole objective of ensuring his wellbeing.
The bachelor group represents a key part of the EEP programme, as it allows to ensure greater genetic exchange and helps to manage the family groups in other zoos. A very successful case within this programme is that of Leon, a gorilla who was sent to Brazil from Loro Parque to form his own family and who has already fathered 3 offspring with his two companions: Imbi and Lou Lou.