We make these points because we are responsible for all our animals: they depend on us. That’s why we care for them with love and respect, based on the findings of modern zoo biology and wildlife medicine. This demonstrates that the animals are our first priority.



                 


FIVE PRINCIPLES


  1. We care for our animals with absolute love and respect to guarantee their welfare and dignity.

  2. We allow the animals under our care the five freedoms (Animal Welfare Council, 1979):


  3. a) from hunger or thirst;

    b) from discomfort;

    c) from pain, injury or disease;

    d) from fear and distress; and

    e) freedom to express normal behaviours, including reproduction.


  4. We consider our animals as ambassadors for the conservation of their own kind within their natural habitats.

  5. We support activities to research and conserve threatened species under human care and in natural ecosystems.

  6. We are a sanctuary for wild animals that need our help.



Throughout its almost 50 years of history, Loro Parque has received various and numerous honorary awards that recognize its work, both in the environmental and business areas.



We create the enclosures to be as close to nature as possible and we manage the animals in ways to enrich their lives. Moreover, we provide them with the highest standards of veterinary attention to ensure their physical and psychological well-being. Their well-being is only possible through the dedication of our expert keepers and our networking with other zoological professionals. This is the essence of humane management of wild animals.

Our animals are ambassadors to show our visitors the beauty of nature and to motivate them to love and respect both animals and nature, and to engage their support for conservation. Loro Parque gives a safe and accessible experience to inspire people and to give them a great feeling for nature.

The best way to show our commitment to conservation and research is to fund these activities both in the park and in the field. Loro Parque designates 10% of the entrance fees goes to Loro Parque Fundación and out of these funds, 1.000.000 dollars goes for conservation and research undertaken by Loro Parque Fundación. In the last 22 years the Loro Parque Fundación has directed 20.000.000 dollars to conservation projects around the world.

Many situations can put wild animals at risk and therefore Loro Parque actively participates in the rescue, rehabilitation and release of animals which need help. Whenever an animal cannot be released we are committed to give it long term care with our habitual high standards. This has been done with parrots, gorillas, chimpanzees, penguins, orcas, lions, marine turtles, alligators and many other species.


EPILOGUE

Our earth has become an overpopulated planet, extremely threatened due to exponential population growth and excessive consumption by humankind. From 2.300million in the year 1940, the world’s population today is reaching 7.500 million. This means that in the last 80 years the population has almost quadruplicated!

Humanity has barely noticed the decline of charismatic and exotic animals such as elephants. From the 10 million elephants that once inhabited our planet, barely half a million are left. The decline of their population is due to the progressive destruction and fragmentation of their natural habitat, as well as high rates of poaching for their ivory. It is unbelievable that even though so very few elephants are left, still 100 continue to be killed every day for their ivory. Of the original 60 million km2 of natural forests, the humankind has destroyed almost a half!

It is therefore important that the labour of the modern zoo has evolved to convert them into the true embassies for the wildlife that they are now. The modern zoo is an important tool for the conservation of the biodiversity, that is, of the wildlife and vegetation. An astonishing fact is that 750 million people visit zoos worldwide every year. This demonstrates the great potential of the zoos to connect the people to the nature and to contribute to conservation of the endangered species. This potential is even clearer in relation to the progressive urbanisation of the human population and its consequent isolation from nature. More than 50% live in cities now, and by 2050 there will be 85%. The main aims of zoological parks are raising awareness and environmental education, which are acknowledged by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), the most prestigious organisation for conservation in the world.

Nevertheless, a small minority with loud voices that self-proclaimed themselves as “activists for the animal rights” attack a tool that precisely fights for the conservation of nature, the most important resource for the future of human beings. Within this overpopulation, it seems contradictory that a group of people is preparing the ground for extremists without taking into consideration that the modern zoos cooperate with other educational, research and conservation institutions, as well as with responsible citizens, to generate greater respect for nature in the interest of the society. On the other hand, these alleged self-proclaimed animal defenders as PETA, the Human Society of the United States (HSUS), Born Free Foundation or Free Morgan Foundation barely contribute economically or in any other way to the protection of nature and animals.

The highly skilled professionals of the modern zoos are the real experts on protecting nature and species, having a positive commitment to the media and the public. Society deserves to know that animal welfare is essential to the modern zoo and forms the base for conservation, educational and research actions.

When people visit Loro Parque – one of the most innovative and committed zoos in the world–, they achieve a greater understanding of nature and animals. To face the attacks from animal rights extremists against the zoos, as well as to ensure a greater comprehension from the society, Loro Parque has summarised its commitment as a modern zoo.