The general director of the Cologne Zoo (Germany), Theo Pagel, received the 2023 Wolfgang Kiessling International Prize for Species Conservation in Washington. This award given by the American organization Global Humane is named after Wolfgang Kiessling, founder and president of Loro Parque, a zoo in Puerto de la Cruz, considered one of the world’s greatest exponents in the work of preserving species and defending biodiversity. .
Theo Pagel is an “exponent of a life dedicated to the protection and rescue of species.” He is president of the Red Committee of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN and WAZA) and was also president of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). He started at a very young age in the fight for the protection of species, launching a recovery program for the Bali starling, on the verge of extinction. «Since that moment it has achieved recovery successes in such endangered species as the little penguin (Eudyptula minur), the white-fronted bee-eater (Merops bullockoides) or the Elegant Pyta (Pyta elegans) of which it obtained the first offspring in the world» , includes a press release from Loro Parque.
The international Wolfgang Kiessling Prize for Species Conservation was created following an external and independent audit that the American organization Global Humane carried out in Loro Parque. This inspection is part of the animal welfare monitoring work that Global Humane carries out around the world. After several days of auditing, the organization determined that the levels of welfare, facilities, procedures and care of the animals residing at the zoo exceeded standards found worldwide in this type of facility.
Pagel began a recovery program for the Bali starling, on the verge of extinction
«LOro Parque was considered by the auditors an extraordinary reference at an international level, because, beyond its commitment to animal welfare those it welcomes and cares for, it develops an intensive effort in the conservation of species,” the note states. “This vision of active defense and work in favor of the care of all species is part of the DNA that Wolfgang Kiessling, founder and president of Loro Parque, imprinted on the zoo since its foundation,” they added from Loro Parque.
Global Humane is one of the largest global organizations protecting, monitoring and defending animal rights. At a popular level, one of its most recognized tasks is to monitor the well-being of animals that participate in Hollywood productions. They are responsible for the phrase “during the recording of this film no animals were harmed.” It should be noted that its activity extends to the observation and inspection of zoos around the world.