An independent assessment, conducted by experts from the Zoo Animal Welfare Education Centre (Zawec), has certified that the 6 orcas that live in Loro Parque fulfil the diverse welfare standards established by the Welfare Quality protocol. Thus, this assessment, performed on Loro Parque its request in August this year, confirms the great diet of the cetaceans and the availability of an adequate area for the animals, as well as a correct behaviour and the optimum health state.
Under the premise of having a qualified opinion not linked to the park or anti-zoo groups, scientists examined the facilities and condition of the animals, as well as collecting information about handling routines, training programs and veterinary supervision of the orcas. For that matter, experts had free access to veterinary registers and to a research on the social behavior of the orcas in Loro Parque.
The report’s findings, derived from observation and analysis of these animals are determinant, clear and concise: “The evidence indicates that Keto, Kohana, Skyla, Tekoa, Morgan and Adam get adequate food, both in quantity and quality; the quality and temperature of the pool water is appropriate; the design and size of the pools of orcas meet the recommendations currently available; and the health of the orcas of Loro Parque are mostly good, with the exception of dental problems, although the time dedicated by the keepers to the cure and supervision to avoid pain or discomfort of the orcas, is seen as especially positive.”
Finally, the document notes that “the protocols of medical training and veterinary supervision and intervention are very satisfactory. Moreover, the orcas show a behavior that indicates a relationship of complete trust with their caregivers.”
The Zawec organization has essential objectives training and research in welfare of the animals in the zoo. Its main activities are the elaboration and the validation of welfare assessment protocols for different species in captivity, advice on the welfare of wild animals and the development of research projects on welfare of wild animals in captivity.