From Parken Zoo in Sweden back to the wild – the Giant otter returns
The male Nanay born in Parken Zoo Eskilstuna on the 1st of
October 2018 has now, through a collaboration with a global project, that is run by the Foundation Rewilding
Argentina, been transported to Ibreá National Park in Argentina. Parken Zoo in Eskilstuna is the only Swedish
zoological garden that participates in this project with Giant otters.
- We are incredibly proud and happy to be given the chance to participate in this project.
Zoological gardens and conservation organizations work together all over the world to facilitate
conservation of endangered animal species and biological diversity, says Sofia Larsson, CEO
Parken Zoo in Eskilstuna Sweden.
The Giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) is the largest out of the 13 otter species in the world. It lives in South
America and it is classified as endangered according to the IUCN red list. The main population today is found in
Brazil, but in Argentina it is considered extinct from the area but historically it has been present in Argentina.
Some of the main threats are hunting for pelt, conflict with the fishing industry and environmental destruction.
As a part of the conservation work that is done by Parken Zoo and other zoological gardens this species is a
part of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), EAZA Ex-situ Programme (EEP). The Giant otter
EEP has started a collaboration with the project Rewilding Iberá that is run by Foundation Rewilding Argentina,
which is an organization that works with restoring ecosystems.
- Now Nanay is in quarantine waiting to get to his new home in the wild. Before he can be
released, he needs to practice his fishing skills and get used to the new environment in a
specially built pre-release enclosure by the river in Iberá park. He is also waiting for suitable
females to accompany him to form a new family group, says Anita Burkevica, veterinarian, and
zoological director for Parken Zoo in Eskilstuna.
Parken Zoo in Eskilstuna is one of the first public parks in
Sweden and it was founded in 1898. Parken Zoos focus is
orking with conservation of endangered species and education. It is one of Sweden's most visited parks. Parken Zoo consists of the zoological garden/education
department/ conference venue/ funfair/swimming facility and a camping/ cabin park.