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History of Loro Parque
Loro Parque was founded in the 1970s by Wolfgang Kiessling, a 33-year-old from Cologne, and his father. Loro Parque was officially opened on 17 December 1972. At that time, it had a floor area of about 13,000 m² and about 150 parrots, plus a Loro Show.
It was originally designed as a parrot park, which also gave it its name, because loro is the Spanish word for "parrot". Over 3 000 palm trees were planted throughout the area. In 1984, Loro Parque hosted the first free-flight parrot show in Europe.
In the following years, the world's largest parrot collection was built up with more than 300 parrot species and subspecies in the park's non-public breeding station called "la vera". This collection represents the largest genetic reserve in the world. This station has achieved numerous rare breeding successes, such as the world's first breeding of the Blue Cat Macaw Ara glaucogularis. For this achievement, Wolfgang Kiessling was awarded the gold medal of the bird magazine Gefiederte Welt in 1986. Today, the papapgeia collection is used as a source of information for experts and students from all over the world and for clarifying scientific questions, e.g. for diploma theses and dissertations. Access is otherwise only permitted to members of the Loro Parque Foundation. The keeping, breeding and protection of the various parrot species have remained a major focus of Loro Parque to this day.
In 1986, the first International Parrot Congress was held with 600 participants. This was one of the milestones that marked the history of the zoo, making it a world reference in the breeding and conservation of parrots. Since then, the event has been held every four years.
In 1987, the Dolphinarium was opened with 7 000 000 litres of purified seawater. In 1989, the opening of the orchid house and caiman tank took place. In 1992, the gorilla enclosure was opened as part of the Gorilla EAZA EEP. In 1999, the Penguinarium was opened.
In 1994, the Loro Parque Foundation was founded. The park's administration has been transferring part of its income to the foundation ever since.
In 2017 and 2018, it received the Travellers' Choice award. This award recognises Loro Parque as the best zoo in the world.
Today, the total area of Loro Parque covers approx. 135,000 m² with a total population of approx. 4500 animals in 570 species.

The general director of Loro Parque is Wolfgang Kiessling. The curator until December 2010 was the biologist Matthias Reinschmidt, who became zoological director in January 2011. In June 2015, Reinschmidt left Loro Parque to become zoological director of the Zoologischer Stadtgarten Karlsruhe. From 15 December 2015, Wolfgang Rades took over Reinschmidt's duties, who had previously been director of the Herborn Zoo.  Since the end of 2018, Tony Greenwoods has been zoological director of the park.
Here are a few pictures from the most beautiful zoo in the world.

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