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Fuengirola Bioparc

in Fuengirola Municipality in Málaga Province, Andalucia, Spain
By Nick Nutter | 5 Nov 2019
Toucan Fuengirola Bioparc Lemurs in the Mdagascar Habitat Meerkat being, well a meerkat Tapir Tigers At the waterhole

Using shrubs, trees and plants native to the Mediterranean and imaginative landscaping to produce hills and valleys, caves, streams, waterfalls and lakes, Biopark Fuengirola has created realistic simulations of areas of Madagascar, rainforests in Equatorial Africa, and tropical forests of Southeast Asia and the islands of the Indo-Pacific. Those areas have been populated by animals native to those habitats. In the centre of a bustling tourist resort, Biparc Fuengirola has established a benchmark for other Bioparcs in Europe. In doing so they have also produced a wonderful experience for visitors.

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Immerse Yourself in the Jungle

Unlike other zoos or wildlife parks, the visitor is encouraged to immerse themselves in each particular environment, become part of nature. Often the only divide between a human and a wild animal is a small stream or a path edge. Birds and species that live in the tree canopy have no barrier between them and the human visitor, only thin air. Animals that could be dangerous to humans are viewed from advantage points or, rarely, through glass.

Equatorial Africa

Each area can be considered a biosphere in that multiple species of animals live in the same habitat, just as they would in the wild. In Equatorial Africa, for instance, wetlands have been established where you will see waders, ducks and antelope. Fallen logs provide refuge for insects, reptiles and small porcupines. Herbivores move around on the forest floor.

Madagascar Lemurs

Madagascar is famous for its lemurs. At Fuengirola, four of the more than 100 species are represented. They live in groups and share their habitat with other groups, and the visitors that are taken through their habitat by guides. These agile, shy creatures, with almost human facial expressions, fascinate children and adults alike.

The Build

Being in the centre of a town, surrounded by buildings, space, or the impression of it, has always been a challenge for Bioparc. In 1998, the company that runs Bioparc, Rain Forest S.L., obtained the concession for a zoo that had existed in Fuengirola for 40 years. They employed a team of architects, builders, sculptors, painters and gardeners to take down all the existing fences and buildings and build a world of rivers and waterfalls, caves, valleys, deep canyons and raised gardens to hide the surrounding adjacent buildings and create the individual habitats. It took the team two years before they could start to reintroduce the animals that had previously lived in cages.

Releasing the Chimps

One keeper recalls how the chimpanzees behaved when they were first released. ‘The day they went out to explore their new territory, their lives changed forever. For the first time, they walked on grass, played with plants, ran about and hid from each other. For the first time, they could behave like chimpanzees.’

Bioparc

In 2001 the new Fuengirola zoo, designated a Biparc in 2010, opened its doors and invited humans to join the animals.

For opening times and entrance prices, click here

Find Fuengirola Bioparc on the map

Return to: Málaga province
Return to: Málaga city
Return to: Fuengirola town

Places to go in Fuengirola

Finca del Secretario - a Roman industrial site
Castilo Sohail and the Battle of Fuengirola 1810

Villages in Fuengirola

Guide to Fuengirola, a popular seaside resort on the Mediterranean coast

About the Author

Nick has lived and worked in Andalucia for over 20 years. He and his partner, Julie Evans, have travelled extensively and dug deep into the history and culture, producing authoritative articles on all aspects of the region. Nick has written four books about Andalucia and writes articles for other websites and blogs.

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