Loro Parque, which opened on 17 December 1972, is 40 years old today. Below is just a selection of the stories I’ve posted about this wonderful place since I started this blog – not just a tourist attraction, but a world class environmental resource of the first order, and a specialist parrot centre whose breeding programme is saving species from extinction. It’s a fantastic centre – HERE is its website – and I wish it a very happy birthday indeed, and with very many happy returns!
7 January 2011: There’s yet another reason to visit the wonderful Loro Parque with the centre’s announcement of the birth of several Papua penguin chicks. The birds, which are known as Gentoo penguins in English, are also called Pingüino de vincha or juanito in Spanish, and are easily identifiable by the white stripe or patch behind their eyes.
The timing of the latest arrivals coincides with the Antarctic summer, and there’s a lovely video here from Loro Parque showing the little ones, who are cared for in turn by their parents, and whose speed beneath the water is already incredible. LP
6 Decmber 2010: Loro Parque has delightedly announced the birth of four new meerkats, all of whom are healthy and integrating well into the centre’s meerkat community. The Parque has released this lovely video of the new babies, and the successful breeding programmes are just one more outstanding reason to make this centre a regular visiting point. Loro Parque
6 October 2010: Loro Parque has achieved a world first by breeding two two-toed sloths. The infants’ parents are sloths called Bimba and Bianco, of 4 and 5 years of age, who came to the Parque in 2007 from an Italian zoo. The births have generated huge international interest because it seems that no other zoo has managed to breed the species in captivity. The little mammals were born in the tropical ecosystem that Loro Parque has designed specifically to exhibit the sloths, and the births are clear evidence that the environment is perfect for the creatures.
One of the baby sloths is sharing the precinct with the parents, while the other is being cared for by the Parque’s veterinary team to ensure its wellbeing and growth until it can be sufficiently independent to return to the display area the family shares with green iguanas, 12 Titi monkeys and 2 red foot turtles. Both sloth babies are strong and well developed, and have now opened their eyes. The Parque has released the following video, featuring Rafael Zamora, the Parque’s biologist. It’s in Spanish, but the film is delightful to watch. TinerGuía
26 September 2009: Loro Parque has announced that its much-heralded new aviary, Katandra Treetops, opened to the public yesterday. It is one of the largest free-flight aviaries in the world, being 17,000 cubic metres with a 30m height, apparently the size of the Paris Opera House.
It is intended as a superb viewing experience for visitors to the park, with more than 100 different bird species from Australia and Asia, and with visitors able to go inside the aviary and experience the birds flying around. In one part, indeed, there are hanging bridges for those with enough nerve to walk along the forest canopy.