Terra Natura, Benidorm

Hi my name is Star and I have been lucky enough to call Gran Alacant my home for over 10 years now. My 8-year-old daughter Ashlee and I are often “Out & About” enjoying the local attractions and culture in this part of Spain. Over the next few months I will be sharing some of our experiences with you to encourage you to go “Out & About” yourselves and maybe learn a little bit about this beautiful place we call home.

This month we wanted to talk about our recent trips to another of our favourite places, Terra Natura in Benidorm. We frequently visit every year, most recently to follow the progress of a family of Jaguars.

Terra Natura has changed a lot over the last 7/8 years that we have been visiting and Ashlee and her friends have been lucky enough to see lots of animals grow from newborns to adults. This includes Chicks, Snakes, an Eagle Owl (who was sooo fluffy), 2 White Handed Gibbons, 2 Siamang Monkeys, a Rhino called Susto, three Tiger cubs and most recently Jaguar (Panther) cubs.

As Terra Natura are part of a European breeding program, Susto the baby Rhino who was born there in 2012 to Nisha (Dad) and Shiwa (Mum), was moved to a zoo in Ireland and the two Bengal Tiger cubs Neu and Pluja that were born in January 2017 are now in a zoo in Northern Spain. We really enjoyed watching Shusto grow in the two years that he was there and read the updates from Ireland.

The two tiger cubs Neu and Pluja were only allowed to be viewed by the public on two separate occasions and we were first in the queue to see them a few weeks before they were moved to their new permanent home in Northern Spain. It was a truly amazing experience to see these playful cubs.

In the last few months we have been fascinated to watch the rapid growth and development of the Jaguar cubs. For a few years we have enjoyed watching the parents and admire their beautiful fur. Socorro is the 5 year old father who came to Terra Natura in 2014 from Krefeld (Almania) and he has beige colouring and spotted fur. The mother, Grecia is also 5, completely black, although in the right light you can also see her spotted pattern and arrived in 2014 from Athens. In the Summer of 2017 their two female cubs Pepa and Lola were born at the zoo, both have the same coloured fur as their father.

Since birth they have been kept with the mother and have been gradually introduced to the father as often the father can reject them and this can cause problems. The team have followed a strict routine to ensure the safety of the cubs and thanks to their hard work and the calm and tranquil nature of Socorro, in May 2018 they were finally able to live as a family unit in one enclosure. Pepa and Lola are very active cubs who are making the most of playing and cooling off in the water in their enclosure and keeping Socorro and Grecia busy!! This is the only family of Jaguars in the whole of Spain.

I could write lots more about Terra Natura as it has a special place in our hearts, we probably visit it an average of 10 times a year!! We buy the annual pass in March as it is on special offer and also use it to go to Aqua Natura too. We thoroughly recommend both Terra and Aqua Natura and if you don’t have a car there are bus trips that can take you there and you can often get discounted tickets and special offers at the airport, in shops or online at: http://benidorm.terranatura.com/es/index.html

And don’t forget that this year on August 19th it will be the Holi Festival to celebrate the birthday of Pepita the Elephant. It truly is an amazing atmosphere with lots of colour and fun. To learn more, go to the Gran Alacant Advertiser website and read the article we wrote about it that was published in July 2017.