Loro Parque celebrates the birthday of Pole Pole and Noel, two of the 6 gorillas of the group living in the park since 1992. For this event keepers prepared a very special surprise with activities just for them, like two cakes made with fruits and vegetables. In addition, various wooden objects and surprises have been put in their exhibition to make them experience a different adventure, as part of the enrichment activities made with the mammals to enrich the development of the different animal species.
Pole Pole is now 23 years old and comes from the “Tierpark” Zoo in Munich, as well as its cohabitant Noel, who is now 26 years old. Both are western Midland gorillas and arrived at Loro Parque in the nineties as part of the European Programm (EEP), which protects animals in danger of extinction such as the Midland gorillas. They live in jungles and forests of equatorial Africa and the worsering in the state of conservation of this species has made captive breeding efforts become much more important now. Fortunately, the population managed in a coordinated manner by European zoos (EEP) has a good number of examples (420 in 2008), of which three quarters were born in captivity.
The singles group of Loro Parque is a key player in captive breeding program in Europe, as it allows greater genetic exchange and helps to better manage family groups in other zoos. Gorillas are the largest living primates and the animal species with which humans have, after chimpanzees, a closer relationship. In fact, the percentage difference between the DNA of gorilla and human is only 1.6%.