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This award of worldwide relevance recognises Professor Pagel, director of the Cologne Zoo, for a whole life dedicated to fighting for the survival of species and for being an inspiration and example for many other people.

Theo Pagel, Director General of the Cologne Zoo (Germany) has received the Wolfgang Kiessling 2023 International Award for Species Conservation in Washington. The award, given by the American organisation Global Humane, is named after Wolfgang Kiessling, founder and president of Loro Parque, who is considered one of the world’s leading exponents of species conservation and biodiversity protection.

Theo Pagel is the exponent of a life dedicated to the protection and rescue of species. He is chairman of the Red Committee of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN and WAZA) and was also president of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). Starting out as a young man in the fight for the protection of species, he initiated a programme for the recovery of the Bali starling, which was on the verge of extinction. Since then, he has achieved recovery successes in endangered species such as the little penguin (Eudyptula minur), the white-fronted bee-eater (Merops bullockoides) or the Elegant Pyta (Pyta elegans), of which he obtained the first breeding in the world.

An award created to boost the fight for species protection

The Wolfgang Kiessling International Species Conservation Award was created following an independent external audit of Loro Parque by the American organisation Global Humane. This inspection is part of Global Humane’s worldwide animal welfare monitoring work. Through several days of auditing, the organisation determined that the welfare levels, facilities, procedures and care of the animals residing in the zoo exceeded the standards found worldwide in this type of facility.

Loro Parque was considered by the auditors to be an extraordinary international benchmark, because beyond its commitment to the welfare of the animals it houses and cares for, it makes an intensive effort to conserve species. This vision of active defence and work in favour of the care of all species is part of the DNA that Wolfgang Kiessling, founder and president of Loro Parque, has imprinted on the zoo since its foundation.

Beyond “No animals have been harmed in this film”

Global Humane is one of the world’s largest organisations for the protection, monitoring and defence of animal rights. At the grassroots level, one of their most recognised tasks is to monitor the welfare of animals involved in Hollywood productions. They are responsible for the phrase “no animals were harmed during the making of this film”. Their activity extends to the observation and inspection of zoos around the world.
Loro Parque is one of the world’s leading references in the care of the species that reside there. The extreme attention to the physical, mental and emotional care of each and every one of the animals has earned them this international recognition from one of the most demanding and independent organisations in the world.

In addition to the educational work carried out through the exhibition, the zoo is committed to all the projects for the recovery and protection of species and environments that the Loro Parque Foundation carries out around the world.