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Loro Parque is one of the main tourist attractions in Tenerife and as such has received numerous awards and has been visited by almost 35 million visitors. It was originally developed in 1972 as a parrot park by German millionaire Wolfgang Kiessling former Consul General of The Gambia and consulate in Tenerife for Thailand.
Today he owns 4000 parrots of 350 species and beside the park he has a space for breeding the birds and saving them from extinction, so in 1994, the Loro Parque Foundation which is a non-profit global organization dedicated to the conservation of endangered species of parrots and their habitats was founded.
The park has grown through the years. Today it occupies a space of 135,000 square meters and is a well respected zoo with a variety of animals including Tigers, Gorillas and Chimps, not forgetting of course the Orcas, Sea Lions and Dolphins who perform for the crowds throughout the day.
In 2006 “Orca Ocean” was built and Tekoa, Keto, Skyla and Kohana were brought from SeaWorld after staff spent over 12 months training in the United States. The 4 whales which cannot be bought or sold are in Tenerife on loan. The Orca pool contains 22 million litres of continually filtered and chilled seawater (six million litres is cleaned every hour) and is one of the largest marine mammal display and research facilities ever built.
In 1999 the world’s biggest Penguinarium “Planet-Penguin” was opened. This is an Antarctic-like ecosystem where four different species of penguin King, Gentoo, Rockhopper and Chinstrap penguins live in a replica of their natural habitat, including 12 tons of snow which falls each day. During summer months, the lights are dimmed to stimulate long hours of darkness in the winter Antarctic. It is also colder.
The Katandra Treetops is the latest Loro Parque attraction that takes visitors along tree top trails through the jungle where you can see spectacular birds, including an emu, opened in 2009 it must be the most impressive free-flight aviaries anywhere.
New for 2014 is a jelly fish aquarium, with a number of different species. Well worth a visit.
Loro Parque has 4 gardens, The Orchid Garden, The Dragon Tree Garden, The Cactus Garden, and The Jungle which is the original part of the park. In addition over 8000 Palm trees planted throughout the park.
Some of the buildings come from Thailand and are made of exotic woods, the largest group of Thai buildings outside Thailand.
Current entry fees are 33€ for adults, a return visit for 10€ can be purchased on leaving. an annual ticket can be bought for 60€, ideal for tourists who visit Tenerife two or three times a year. For a further 10€ fee visitors can take a behind the scenes trip to see how all of the animals are kept and in most cases pampered especially the Gorillas who get bundles of newspapers each day (not to read, they make their beds from them). This is called the Discovery Tour and all excursion shops offer it in addition to the general Loro excursion or the money saving Twin Ticket which includes a visit to Siam Park in Las Americas.
The Kessling family also own the Hotel Botanico and Siam Park an adventure water world and home of the largest wave pool in Europe.