I'm actually a little scared about sharing this post because i know how much backlash places like this get especially since the release of Blackfish but whilst i was away in Tenerife we visited Loro Parque which is a large animal park. I wanted to share some photos but also some of my thoughts on the place too.
I've always wanted to see an Orca in real life, they are one of my absolute favourite animals and going to Loro Parque allowed me to do this. Now before any abuse is hurled at me, i have seen Blackfish and i do agree that they should be in the wild and not in tanks and i can promise you that as soon as i sat down to watch the show, i immediately felt guilty - seeing their fins start to curl broke my heart and despite how very large the tank is and how well looked after they are, it's just not fair.
I'd be lying if i said i didn't enjoy the park and i didn't enjoy seeing the Orca's soak everyone and do jumps and flips in the show - of course i did. I know it sounds so hypocritical which is one of the reason i wasn't sure whether to post this or not but i really hope to get across that i just wanted to see the Orcas in person and i would prefer to see them in the wild and in the natural environment but i can't guarantee that ever happening so i saw this park as my opportunity to see them. Also, may i just add that during the Discovery Tour they told us that they never force the Orcas to perform, if they can see an Orca's not interested they don't force them and they've even cancelled the shows in the past because of it.
I genuinely believe that sometimes places like this are needed, some animals aren't able to cope in the wild. The park rescued a Orca names Morgan who they soon discovered was deaf and if it wasn't for Loro Parque she probably wouldn't have survived, without her hearing she lost her pod and would be unable to use echolocation to find food etc...
Like the Orca's there was also a Dolphin show which was just as lovely to watch (against please no abuse). They seem like such affectionate animals and it was really amazing to see what they can do.
Planet Penguin was probably one of my favourite part of the park. They have two lots of penguins; one from warmer climates(i can't remember the exact name or location they're from) and also some from the Artic. It was amazing to see how different their enclosure are to suit the different types. The part with the Artic Penguins was my favourite because it was so mystical and to emulate their natural habitat they have snow machines which give it a really christmassy feel.
There was lots of other animals in the park too including Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Meerkats, Alligators, Parrots, Sea Lions, White Tigers, Panthers & so many others. We also paid a little extra to go on the Discovery tour which took you around some part of the park including some behind the scenes, you also learnt a lot too. From all the different things that were told, it really comes across how much the owner of the park really does care for the animals - he tries to emulate their natural habitats as much as possible so that the animals aren't entirely reliable on humans, he also mixes animals (as long as they're compatible) so it's how would be in the wild. The Discovery Tour was really interesting, we got to go behind the scenes of the Gorillas and see where they sleep and how much they eat and we also go to behind the scenes of the Orcas and see the trainers tunnel - it was really lovely to see the Orcas randomly appear at the window to have a nosey at us.
I'd be lying if i said i didn't enjoy my day at Loro Parque because i really did, i loved seeing the animals and it was fascinating to learn so much about it. I know that animals should be in the wild and in there natural habitats but for those that are unable this is a lovely place.
Please don't hate me for this post.