The Alberto Avesani Farm was founded back in 1933 and covers 64...read more
The Alberto Avesani Farm was founded back in 1933 and covers 64 hectares of hills inland of Lake Garda, in Bussolengo, Verona province.A zoological park of about 24 hectares called Garda Zoo Park was conceived in 1965. Opened on June 25 1969, it hosted both indigenous and exotic animals.In 1973 a new area dedicated to African mammals and birds, the Safari Park, was added, which visitors could access in their own car.In 1978 the whole facility was expanded with the addition of new areas: the Aquaterrarium, the Tropical Greenhouse, and the Dinosaur Park, where visitors had the chance to admire life-size models of prehistoric reptiles for the first time in Italy.In 1985 a comprehensive reorganization process was started on a zoological, architectural and managerial level. The role of zoological parks has also changed with time, from merely exhibiting exotic animals to actively participating in their conservation.The usefulness of and need for modern zoological gardens was formally acknowledged in 1992 by the Rio Conference, which strongly stressed the importance of a combination of ex situ and in situ conservation strategies for Biodiversity preservation and protection.Nowadays zoological parks have a global perspective: besides contacts with local and national facilities, a modern zoological institution must establish a broad network of international connections, in order to coordinate the management of its animal population to prevent inbreeding risks and to promote initiatives to reintroduce endangered species into the wild.Parco Natura Viva is a member of EAZA (European Association of Zoo and Aquaria). EAZA's activities include the European Endangered Project (EEP), supported by the European Community, which aims at coordinating the management of animal populations belonging to endangered species in European zoological parks.The EEP represents a concrete survival opportunity for animals that can no longer find sufficient survival conditions in the wild. Parco Natura Viva participates in about twenty EEP projects.In 2002 the Park became a member of WAZA (World Association of Zoos and Aquaria), while on a national level it is part of UIZA (Italian Union of Zoos and Aquaria).Parco Natura Viva plays an essential role in Italy by cooperating with the CITES department of the National Forest Rangers and with the National Institute for Wild Animals (INFS).Following the implementation of the strict CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) regulations, competent authorities may seize illegally traded animals or those kept in violation of health regulations and entrust them to qualified facilities like Parco Natura Viva.