Latin America, Caribbean Quick Takes | July/August 2021
Brazilian Zoo Launches as a New Conservation Center
Education, research, and conservation are the three pillars that make up the new BioParque do Rio, a new zoo concept in Brazil that opened its doors to the public this spring. Located in the heart of Quinta da Boa Vista—an area of great historical and cultural value in the city—BioParque do Rio (formerly RioZoo) strives to make a positive impact in the ecosystem while connecting guests with nature in fresh ways.
“The idea is that BioParque do Rio will work with animal species associated with conservation research programs such as research on behavior, genetic mapping, or even reproduction of animals to be reintegrated into nature,” explains Manoel Browne, director of operations at BioParque do Rio. The park is already home to more than 140 species and 1,000 animals, many of which are rescues.
BioParque do Rio is one of two parks managed by Grupo Cataratas, an ecotourism company in Brazil. The park’s mission is to work in partnership with institutions from around the world to promote an exchange of information so conservation programs can be put into practice.
“Good zoos and aquariums play a fundamental role in restoring ecosystems that have been lost or that are at serious risk. Without their actions, many species may disappear forever from nature,” highlights Pablo Morbis, president of Grupo Cataratas.
Guests can purchase individual tickets, while those who join BioParque do Rio’s annual membership program will help finance the park’s research and conservation programs for endangered species.
New Water Roller Coaster Makes a Splash in Colombia
Guests staying at the Cafam Melgar Vacation Center in Tolima, Colombia, have a new way to stay cool this summer. The “Aquatic Roller Coaster” takes guests on a 40-second ride aboard a two-person raft. Guests feel the speed as their rafts are propelled by strong water jets. ProSlide designed the course of the slide to fit the park’s rolling landscape, preserving native vegetation and the park’s picturesque setting.
In October, the complex reopened with enhanced safety measures and reduced capacity.
“We return more recharged than ever, following all biosecurity measures, to receive our guests,” says Carlos Paz, head of the Cafam Melgar Vacation Center Department. “This new ‘Aquatic Roller Coaster’ is unique in Latin America and marks a great differential in the tourist and recreational offer of the country for the benefit of all Colombians.”
Capacity for the new slide is about 720 riders per hour.