Barcelona Zoo moves into 'new era' following change in law
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Barcelona Zoo moves into 'new era' following change in law

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We will put the welfare of animals and education at the forefront
– Janet Sanz

One of Europe's oldest zoos has revealed major shift in strategy and focus – thanks to a new law passed by local government.

In May, Barcelona City Council approved new legislation which prohibits the breeding of animal species which cannot be released into the wild.

The decision by the council means that many of the 2,000 animals in the city's historic Barcelona Zoo – which first opened in 1892 – will be transferred to nature reserves, or cared for until their death.

This has forced a strategic rethink of the entire business model of the zoo.

As a result, zoo officials and the council – which part-funds the attraction – have come up with a new operating model, to ensure the institution's long-term future.

The new strategy will see €64.6m (US$72.6m, £57.2m) invested in an "animalist" approach, focusing on the conservation of native fauna and the region's threatened species.

There will be a renewed focus on primates and animals from Africa, while large-scale changes will also be made in the visitor experience through investment in technologies.

The developments are due to take place in various stages between 2019 and 2031.

According to the city's deputy mayor Janet Sanz, the move will turn Barcelona Zoo into the first ‘animalist’ zoo in Europe.

"We will put the welfare of animals and education at the forefront," she said.

“The changes will allow us to create a zoo we be proud of – and one which visitors will enjoy for years to come."

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One of Europe's oldest zoos has announced a major shift in strategy and focus – partly thanks to a new law passed by local government.
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