Barcelona Zoo investing €64.6m in ‘animalist’ project

Barcelona Zoo is investing €64.6 million in a project, which will turn the attraction into the first ‘animalist’ zoo in Europe, putting animal welfare, conservation, research and education first.

This comes as Barcelona City Council approves a new law, prohibiting the breeding of animal species that cannot be released into the wild.

In response, Barcelona Zoo has come up with a new model, which the city council has approved. Many of the zoo’s animals will be transferred to nature reserves, or cared for until they die.

The project, which will take place in stages between 2019 and 2031, will incorporate new technologies to complete the experience.

Conservation, research and education

The zoo will focus on the conservation of native Mediterranean fauna, and threatened or endangered species, with an emphasis on primates, and animals from the North African and Saharan regions.

Several new interpretation centres will also be created – one for animals of the Sahel region, one for komodo dragons, one for animals of the Mediterranean, and one for orangutans.

New spaces will include the biome of the Mediterranean, a marine biodiversity centre, a butterfly garden, an invertebrate pavilion and a Madagascar biome.

Lions and komodo dragons at Barcelona Zoo

The rest of the facilities will be improved by grouping them by biomes or taxa, while the public space will be improved with new facilities, including a new education area, logistics area, and service networks.

Of the €64.6 million investment, 50% will be devoted to animal facilities, 24% to public space and road service, 21% to equipment and logistics and 5% to demolitions and temporary supplies.

The incorporation of the lions into the Sahel region will be complete by June and the inauguration of the komodo dragon interpretation centre will be complete by July.

barcelona zoo

Blooloop recently spoke to Dr Sharon Redrobe, OBE, CEO of Twycross Zoo, who has a fascination with wildlife and a belief in the role modern zoos must play in conservation.

Images: Barcelona Zoo