Karpin Abentura (ES): Pedro Abad, operational manager

Pedro Abad, operational manager at Karpin Abentura
Pedro Abad, operational manager at Karpin Abentura

Pedro Abad: "They are individuals with stories that need to be told."

“For me, the set of animals that live in our park is not a ‘zoological collection’”, Karpin Abentura’s operational manager Pedro Abad explains. “I do not like this term. These animals are rather a group of individuals with stories that need to be told”. His ultimate goal is to reduce illegal and legal animal pet trade and the abandonment of exotic pets. Pedro aims to achieve this by educating his visitors, telling them about the history of the many rescued animals in his park.

Fact: in the last five years AAP supplied over 40 educational signs about illegal trade, species information and rescue stories of individual animals.

Karpin Abentura (Valle de Carranza near Bilbao, Spain) has received several groups of animals from AAP. For Pedro, a group of eight crab-eating macaques (Macaca fascicularis) was perhaps the most complicated but also the most rewarding group he welcomed to the park: “All other animals we accepted (porcupines, dingoes) of course also came with their own stories, but our visitors seem to relate most to the hardship that these monkeys suffered. That is why, for us, from an educational point of view, it is much more effective to raise awareness with these primates as an example. The fact that one animal (Abri) within this macaque group is chronically ill, and females Yodi and Troela are less ‘showy’ in their physical appearance, has not only been no inconvenience to us, but it has actually served to reinforce the educational value of this group.”

Crab-eating macaque at Karpin Abentura (by Sergio González Ahedo)
Crab-eating macaque at Karpin Abentura (by Sergio González Ahedo)

Pedro (educated as a wildlife zoologist) looks back on nineteen years at Karpin: “I have been working here since the park was initiated in 1995. I was, and still am, many things: caregiver, educator, native wildlife rehabilitator, enclosure designer and technician. Right now, the only way to keep our park going, is to attract more visitors. However, although I realize that adding a new species would be a good attraction for our public, we are only ready to do so if these animals tell a story that serves a purpose in the educational message we intend to spread.”

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