Animal Transfer Policy

Our policy is based on the ethical codes of the World Zoo Conservation Strategy (WZCS) and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), adhering to their zoological ethics which entails working primarily with animals born in captivity, except in cases of where keeping an animal born in the wild can be legally justified for reasons of conservation and education (this is the case of elephants prior to the Cites Convention in 1978). We make sure that our different animal species come from births that have taken place in recognised zoological centres and/or in legally recognised breeding centres. Dealing with animal traders is absolutely against our raison d’être, and we strongly support the systematic eradication of animal trafficking.

Our animals are chosen following the biogeographical criteria of the fauna on display at Terra Natura. We have two major areas of interest in terms of our fauna: the tropical fauna of Central and South America and South-East Asia, with a particular emphasis on the fauna of India and Western Indonesia (west of the Wallace line).

Once we had chosen our biogeographical regions of interest, animal selection criteria were established in accordance with the level of threat identified by the IUCN and the level of protection assigned by the CITES Convention on international trade in endangered species (Appendices I, II and II).

Based on this, a series of contacts were arranged with the EAZA through the EEPs that direct the different taxonomic groups or species of interest. Depending on each case, the same coordinators (Asian elephant, Indian rhino) visited the park to oversee the facilities at the construction stage and give any recommendations or suggestions for even further improving the enclosures. After these meetings and discussions, the animals were sent to the park by highly professional transport companies that specialise in transporting wild animals.

As well as these criteria, another very important factor was the category assigned by European Commission Regulation (EC) 1808/2001 which sets forth the rules for implementing Regulation (EC) 338/97, by assigning one of three protection categories or annexes (against illegal trafficking and/or trade), Annex A, Annex B and Annex C; in some cases, this regulation took precedence over the CITES appendices


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