Hello, today we visit Loro Parque. The modern zoo is needed more than ever before. This is because the entstrangement of nature in our urban societies. Children learn more about machines than animals and nature. That’s a problem because we only can value what we have been familiarized with and love. This is bascically what the Senegalese forestry engineer Baba Dioum already explained in 1968 and he was right. Modern zoos are therefore important because they are not just amusement parks but an educational institution and an important extracurricular place of learning because people don’t only learn from books and media but from experiences with living animals. That’s how they get sensitized and interested to gain knowledge and support conservation. Moreover, the modern zoo is an important research institution: many, many scientific findings benefiting animals in nature were only possible thanks to zoological gardens. We know that combination of research in situ and ex situ is the key to comprehensive research that enables comprehensive conservation projects saving species. Modern zoos are conservation centers as well. They participate in international breeding programmes that are coordinated in order to save species that are threatened by extinction in the wild. Modern zoos breed these species to back up populations, which could be used as a basis of reintroduction projects when there is enough protected habitat for the species. You should never say “no” concerning this. I want to give you an example for that: Since 2000, for several years, lynxes from zoos were reintroduced in Harz National Park. At this time, I was conservation officer of the Nature Conservation Association’s state association of Lower Saxony and not so happy with the project because I prefered to use wild catches in order to avoid or limit working with animals from zoos because they could have been grown too accustomed to humans which can cause problems. I considered wild catches to be better. Luckily, the zoo-born animals were amazingly prepared and the whole project worked amazingly. I was very surprised but that’s what I said: never say “no”. Later I was lynx representative in Hesse and some of these animals migrated in this state later. That’s an amazing example how a project that seemed to be impossible became reality thanks to modern zoos and aquariums. In fact, it was very successful. Beside all this conservation, education, and research, modern zoos are also places where you spend your spare time and make experiences. People shall enjoy spending their time with animals and make the best out of that time. This also has got a social component. The former mayor or Heidelberg, Germany, Reinhold Zundel once explained – during the time I as at Heidelberg Zoo as a volunteer assistant – that for him, the best investment of the city would be an investment in the zoo because nowhere else so many people come together and spend time together and this is also a very important topic. But let’s got back to conservation. Let’s talk about in situ projects that zoos also do beside all the ex situ conservation, education, and research we talked about before. In 1994, Loro Parque founded Loro Parque Foundation. The zoo presented its famous parrot collection, the largest genetical reserve in the world in human care, to the foundation. In the conservation projects, parrots were in the focus because Loro Parque means Parrot Park in Spanish. So, the first projects were exclusively about parrots and already make some big and major successes. Loro Parque together with its partners, saved several species from extinction which was very hard to do and costed a lot of money. They prevented the extinction of species like Lear’s macaw, Spix’s macaw, blue-throated macaw, red-vented cockatoo, yellow-eared parrot and even more. All of them play an important role as role models for the conservation of parrots but also for conservation in general because you can’t conserve parrots isolated, you have to protect a whole habitat to save a species from extinction. Today, Loro Parque doesn’t only have parrots in its care. When the government freed chimpanzees from photographers on the street or the beach in the 1980s, Loro Parque offered them a new place to live and got their first mammals. A few years later, a group of chimpanzees were in need and Loro Parque helped again. The chimpanzees were the start to have mammals at Loro Parque as well. Thanks to this animal welfare project, Loro Parque houses many species and so the Fundación evolved as well. About 80% of the money goes to parrot conservation and about 20% to conservation of the sea and the KAZA region. This project is mostly about lion conservation because a new installation was opened here at the park a few years ago, which also educates about lion conservation. Today, all these species, the lions, the parrot species like Eunymphicus cornutus, Lorius garrulus, or Cacatua haematuropygia are representatives of their species and other species as well because when I do the right thing to protect them, I protect many more species, which are not know so well, at the same time and benefit the conservation of biodiversity. That’s why modern zoos are more important than ever before. I rember my teacher at the university, Prof. Gunter Nogge, who was a zoo director in Cologne, saying: “If zoos wouldn’t have been already invented, we would have to invent them urgently these days.” He was correct these days and he’s still correct today because we need modern zoological institutions like Loro Parque more than ever before. Write your questions in the comment section below & please don’t forget to give this video a thumb up. In order to never miss a new video subscribe for free.