This year’s winners, Frank Elstner and Matthias Reinschmidt, represent the work in the fields of zoological work and media coverage.
Two of the greatest representatives in the fight for the protection of species received the Gorilla Award yesterday at a ceremony in the Presidency Hall of the Government of the Canary Islands. The award, which is presented by Loro Parque, was given this year to Frank Elstner, the most prestigious and popular German television presenter, and Matthias Reinschmidt, director of the Karlsruhe Zoo in Germany.
The ceremony, which was presided over by Wolfgang Kiessling, president of Loro Parque, was attended by the vice-president of the Government of the Canary Islands, Manuel Domínguez, and the president of Tenerife’s council, Rosa Dávila, among other guests.
This award adds to the actions that Loro Parque promotes in favour of the defence of biodiversity and the rescue of endangered species.
Loro Parque’s commitment to the survival of species is embodied in the actions carried out each year by the Loro Parque Fundación. As part of its commitment to sustaining Loro Parque Fundación, Loro Parque has announced that, this year, more than 1,600,000 euros will be used to fund projects ranging from on-site work in the communities of origin to research, breeding and reinsertion of animals carried out in the zoo.
Of this investment, more than 250,000 euros will be dedicated to the CanBio project in which Loro Parque collaborates with the Government of the Canary Islands, the University of La Laguna and the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. This project, launched in 2019, works specifically on the protection of marine species and ecosystems of Macaronesia in general, and the Canary Islands in particular. This new investment will be added to the 26 million dollars that Loro Parque Foundation has already invested in the more than 210 projects that have been carried out around the world.
A recognition of commitment and dedication
The Gorilla Award was created in 2003 by Loro Parque as a tool to make visible the work of people or institutions that collaborated in the economic development of the Canary Islands through tourism. Gradually, the award became a recognition of those who dedicate their efforts to working for the species that inhabit our planet and whose ecosystems are currently in danger and with them, their survival.
In this sense, the choice of this year’s award winners differentiates between two very different fields of action: communication and the development of zoological projects for the preservation and recovery of endangered species.
Frank Elstner is Germany’s best-known presenter. His intense media activity led him to interview more than 130 Nobel laureates. Today, he has focused his work intensively on raising awareness of the situation of endangered species by making documentaries that show the public the reality of the difficult survival of endangered species.
Matthias Reinschmidt studied biology and has been working for the protection of species from the very beginning. In his career he was part of Loro Parque, where he worked first as a curator and then as zoological director in 2010. Since 2015 he has been the zoological director of the Karlsruhe Zoo, where he created the Foundation for Species Conservation, through which great progress has been made in this field.
Loro Parque aims with this annual award to highlight the efforts of people and institutions that are committed to the fight to save species in one of the most critical moments in the life of the planet.