In previous articles we have written about the work of the vets and staff at Terra Natura Park in Benidorm. On this occasion we will talk about some of the daily activities in the park which will leave no animal lover indifferent.
When we interviewed Enrique Sanchez, the gentleman responsible for the care and training of all the animals at the park, (see interview), we asked him about a typical day and about the responsibilities the staff members.
He told us that recently one of the Camels was found to have a lump which had to be surgically removed. The park has its own veterinary service and a large operating theatre to treat the different animals residing in the park. During these operations it is usual for the animals’ keeper to be present, showing how passionate they are about their work, many of them even attending surgeries during their holidays.
The park also boasts a large kitchen area where three staff members work tirelessly preparing food for the animals. There are four or five large refrigerated areas where the raw food is stored i.e. poultry, fruit, and alfalfa. These products are used in the preparation of the menus and various diets, all supervised by the Vet., ensuring optimal care for the animals.
Enrique Sanchez pointed out the similarity between many of the species and humans. To illustrate his point he explains that the Pachyderms (mammals which include elephants, Rhinoceroses, Hippopotami, Wild Boars, Pigs, Warthogs, Tapirs Aardvarks and Hogs) become very nervous when their routine is disrupted and that they calm down when they listen to Classical music.
The animals daily routines are also curious, tigers for example go outside in the morning but will only eat meals indoors.
Elephants normally cover about 60 km a day walking in the wild, so in captivity their nails grow extremely rapidly. The keepers have to give them a manicure every 15 days. To do this the animals are placed behind a window, the animal’s foot is pulled through and the manicure completed. This method creates a peaceful environment for the animal and a safe one for the staff member. The elephants are extremely intelligent and are very aware of everything happening around them, especially when they are being taken care of. They allow the keepers and vets to examine them, take blood samples etc., which in the case of the elephants are taken from their ears. It is not as easy to take samples from other species in the park.
Terra Natura works tirelessly and is constantly innovating. Just recently they have introduced a virtual reality system that enables you to interact with the animals in 3D, the first park to introduce such technology. You can access this from their website (www.terranatura.com), downloading the program called Kali, after the baby tiger cub that was born in the park. Observe the growth of your virtual animal and experience many adventures while you form a virtual zoo from your own home.