Category: Animals

Latest Gran Canaria News, Views & Sunshine

The Canary Guide #WeekendTips 31 March – 2 April 2023


 A glorious first weekend of April ahead and the beginning of the christian Holy Week “Semana Santa”, diligently observed in Spain. There will be many religious acts and processions throughout the week around the island, especially in the capital.  Don’t forget it’s also April fools’ on Saturday even though it isn’t a tradition in Spain, there will be those who will take the whimsical opportunity for some hilarity. The Mercado Inglés is on at The British Club of Las Palmas and there is also an authentic Canarian rural fair to visit this weekend in the traditional mountain market town of San Mateo.

Gran Canaria Weather: Yellow Warnings – Up to 36ºC, in the shade, expected on the south, high temperatures with strong winds and calima expected to affect all The Canary Islands this week

The Spanish State Meterological Agency, AEMET, has issued yellow warnings for heat, calima haze and strong winds this week on the Canary Islands forecasting high temperatures of up to 34ºC expected on several islands. An alert has been issued due to a risk of forest fires on Gran Canaria as the mix of dry weather, strong winds and high temperatures has led to concerns over coming days.

Wild fires Alert on Gran Canaria this Wednesday, with temperatures set to exceed 34ºC in the shade

Springtime has only just begun and already the temperatures, in the shade, on Gran Canaria have been repeatedly hitting the low to mid-thirties, which brings with it also a rising risk of Forest Fires and Wildfires.  Here in the Canary Islands forest fire crews are well versed in tackling an occasional mountain blaze, with alert levels often following the basic informal rule of thumb, the so-called 30/30/30 rule, putting the authorities on alert whenever the temperature is set to rise above 30ºC in the shade, the humidity levels drop below 30% and sustained winds are forecast at faster than 30kmph.  Common sense and preparation help the general population to avoid injury in the event of a fire taking hold.

The Canary Guide #WeekendTips 24-26 March 2023

Plum tree blossoming in Tenteniguada March 2023
It’s the last weekend of March already and Spring is here; winter is behind us and the summer weather is already hotting up on Gran Canaria. The hillsides are in full bloom, particularly up in the mountain summits; it’s Carnival Weekend in Arguineguín and the last of the carnival festivities for this year are happening around the island. With summer just around the corner, clocks Spring forward this Saturday and Sunday night when 1am becomes 2am 🕐. On the north of the island, one of the biggest seasonal trade fairs is happening, gathering produce and people from 11 municipalities, ENORTE will be celebrated in the historic Rum capital of the island, Arucas, this weekend.


Illegal Trafficking: President of Gran Canaria “Animal Welfare” Association Investigated for Falsifying Export Certificates and Suspected Mistreatment of Animals

A rogue individual, living on Gran Canaria and operating an unlicensed and unregistered facility supposedly dedicated to animal welfare, has been referred by the Guardia Civil to the Canarian justice system for illegal trafficking and documentary falsification of certificates required for the safe transport of animals into the UK. The operation, she has run for nearly a decade, is suspected of collecting around a quarter of a million euros for this activity in just one 18 month period, keeping large numbers of unregistered animals in inadequate conditions, and illegally transporting animals from the island, without proper zoosanitary checks, across Europe by air, sea and land, destined for recipients in the United Kingdom.

 Between January 2021 and October 2022, the investigated Association irregularly exported 482 dogs to the United Kingdom
 The president of the Association falsified export certificates and presented them to the UK authorities.

Gáldar pioneering in animal welfare with a new centre

The project to build the Centre for Temporary Stay of Animals (CETA) El Sobradillo broke ground this week with the laying of the first stone in an act which included the citizens of Gáldar with dozens of animals of all kinds of conditions and breeds. This pioneering project will allow Gáldar, on the north coast of Gran Canaria, to dedicate a space that will guarantee the protection of domestic and farm animals, and which will make it the only municipality in Gran Canaria to have facilities with these characteristics to fully comply with European regulations. The centre is to be located on a plot of 3,190 square meters, which will allow it to comply with good hygienic-sanitary conditions and be adequate for the needs of the animals that it will accommodate.

Two detained in an animal abuse case in Tauro

The Guardia Civil detained two people for an alleged crime of continual animal abuse, thought to have been committed by keeping 23 dogs, two horses a donkey, 60 chickens, four sheep and six goats “in conditions incompatible with life”.

The only water available to some of the animals was completely full of larvae due to the lack of hygiene and many of them presented cachexia, parasites and physical symptoms of inactivity.
After receiving a complaint, reporting what was happening, Seprona carried out an inspection in the indicated area, located in Tauro in the municipality of Mogán, in which a veterinarian from the Regional Ministry of Agriculture participated along with another from an animal protector.
After verifying that the facilities did not meet the minimum health safety or space conditions for the animals, 23 dogs were seized and taken by an animal protector. An unequivocal symptom that the animals did not have any type of physical activity was found in their extremely long nails, which made them barely able to move in a coordinated way.


Feral cat hunting is to be included in new Canary Islands Biodiversity Law, Spanish Senator complains

Spanish Senator Carles Mulet, a member of the Parliamentary Association in Defense of Animal Rights (APDDA), has denounced to the Central Government a draft of the new Canary Islands Biodiversity Law because he maintains that it includes cats as a species that can be legally hunted.  Feral cat hunting, by hunters with guns, during hunting season has historically been allowed if there is no way to identify the animal has an owner. Consequently many cats in the wild are shot, and many report domestic cats being killed due to misidentification.

In a statement sent this Tuesday, the Compromís parliamentarian also warns that the new regulation, that is intended in its current form to be approved, will require municipalities to eradicate urban feline colonies as well as other modifications that could be harmful to many animals.
In a question that he formulated in writing to the Government, Mullet echoed the complaints of animal protection associations in the Canary Islands, which point out that the new law aims to regulate all cats without visible identification – those that have owners and those who have a chip- if they are in hunting grounds can be hunted.
Likewise, the associations have warned that the future law wants municipalities to avoid and eradicate feral cat colonies, while the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) method does not appear in the text at all, despite being the scientific method of choice, and the most effective , according the animal defenders, for the control of feline populations.
Associations also emphasise that the new law proposes that privately owned ferrets be sterilised, but not those that are in the possession of hunters, which could reproduce uncontrollably when they are lost or are foreseeably abandoned.
The senator has also asked the Government if, in the draft Animal Welfare Law that is being prepared, measures will be included that can guarantee the ethical management of urban feline colonies following the TNR model throughout the Spanish territory.
Mulet is also interested in whether, in the new law from Spain’s central government, if considering feral domestic animals as hunting species could, in fact, be made illegal and it could enforce the application of ethical methods of population control for species by prohibiting, for example, the shooting of goats, as has recently been reported on Tenerife.


Yet another macho Gran Canaria Mister Angry blowing everyday situations out of proportion and this time attacking a cyclist

There has been a lot of tension coming up on video recordings on Gran Canaria in recent days and weeks and childish men seem to think it is ok to brutalise others for no good reasons whatsoever.
This latest footage sent to us shows yet one more childish tantrum with a ridiculous Mister-Angry suddenly attacking another citizen for no known reason as he has a public meltdown caught on camera.  The cyclist who fell prey to the overly macho shouty person driving around in his motor car, was being verbally attacked first.  He removes his cycling shoes, which can often be unstable to walk on, before the car passenger grabs him by the arms as he tries to converse with the driver, who then without warning launches a series of blows.

Other motorists have to intervene, one shirtless guy pulls the driver off the cyclist, who is left on the ground, and forcibly persuades the attacker, in full meltdown, to get back in his car.
The shock of the sudden descent into violence is clear from the audio on the video.
The various tensions over recent weeks and months, economic hardships and the lack of tourism on the island, are starting to have an undesirable effect on some very small minded men, clearly feeling powerless, as they lash out at anyone who appears to be in their way.
Whether its people pretending to be attacked and falsely reporting, homeless guys being victimised by thugs, middle aged vigilantes threatening innocent migrants, knife wielding racists, angry mobs chasing foreigners or our ever present cyclists giving rise to motorist frustrations that then get way out of control, these apocalyptic images of what has always been our tranquil and inviting sub-tropical island need to stop.
Grow the F*** up.


Illegally built tanks for dolphins at Palmitos Park cannot be legalised after the fact

In a rural valley just ten minutes from the most popular tourist resort area on Gran Canaria, dolphins have been kept for the last ten years and made to perform for visitors, in purpose built pools that were built illegally, without proper permissions, and which experts also say are wholly inappropriate for animals who, when in the wild, can swim more than 100km a day, not to mention the cruelty of being kept in a tank and forced to perform for food.  It seems the days of dolphins at Palmitos Park are now numbered, and not a moment too soon.
Palmitos Park, located near Maspalomas in the municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, on the south of Gran Canaria, has been trying to overturn a sentence from the Superior Court of Justice of the Canary Islands (TSJC) that, back in June 2017, declared their dolphinarium inaugurated in 2010 as illegal. Dolphins at Palmitos Park have been performing in that unnatural environment for a decade. The Supreme Court issued an order on October 7 that reaffirms that judicial resolution by not admitting an appeal filed by Aspro Parks, the company that operates the zoo, which is located within the protected area of ​​the Pilancones Natural Park.
The high court stated that the controversy lies in the interpretation and application of regional law and, therefore, the Canary Islands Superior Court of Justice is the competent body to resolve the issue, who had already ruled against the interests of Aspro Parks both in the judgment of 2017 and in two proceedings dated in 2019 (one of them for clarification) at which the appeals of the company were also ruled inadmissible.
Palmitos Park, and Aspro Parks, had tried to obtain permits through various channels. They had asked the San Bartolomé de Tirajana Town Council for a territorial qualification as far back as in 2007 to start the works, but received unfavourable reports from both the local administration and the Cabildo de Gran Canaria island government, who reminded Aspro Parks that the urban planning instrument required was, what is known as, a special development plan, as the project involved expanding the park’s surface by at least 20%. Despite this refusal, the company started and concluded the works without approval.
In July 2011, the company tried again, retrospectively, through another formula, using the Territorial Action Project (PAT) designed for constructions of “small dimension and little significance”, again receiving an unfavourable report from the Town Council of the main tourist municipality on the island. Then it became apparent that the theme park operator was exploring other avenues when, in January 2013, the Canary Islands Regional Government’s Land Management and Environment Commission (COTMAC) ruled that the environmental assessment was not necessary afterall, to legalise the dolphinarium, since it was, what they classed as, a small territorial actio; followed two months later, by the Government of the Canary Islands declaring the initiative of public interest, and of “great territorial importance”.
The TSJC concluded that the regional government had violated the regulations in “several essential aspects” in a retrospective attempt to try to regularise the construction, which breached of the General Plan of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, the primary planning document from the local town hall, to exempt the company from their requirement for an environmental evaluation report. The Canarian high court ruled decisively against Aspro Parks, then imposed procedural costs on the company, which amounted to just €3,000. Now, the Supreme Court has sentenced them to pay another €1,000.
Calls to empty the tanks and demolish the illegal constructions have been getting louder over recent years, and will now pick up pace with no further legal avenues open to the theme park operator.


The Canary News

Gran Canaria Cabildo recovery centre rescues a huge 38 kg turtle and two others, all on the same day

The Cabildo de Gran Canaria has rescued a 38-kg Caretta Caretta turtle, the largest ever to have been taken in at the island’s pioneering Wildlife Recovery Centre in six years. It is a sub-adult turtle specimen that was found at the Bocabarranco Beach, on the island’s north-north east coast, which was very weak and has a very deep wound on one of its fins caused by nets in which the animal had been snared.
On the same day this week that this majestic specimen appeared, another 4-kilo turtle was sighted by a fisherman off the coast of Bañaderos (on the north of the island) which had been caught up in raffia bags and fishing nets inflicting superficial damage. As if that were not enough, a third 12-kilo turtle was also rescued floating in the docks of Santa Catalina, in the island’s capital, in a state of apathy and with widespread edema, that is, very swollen.
This last specimen was very weak, and its apathy and lack of appetite drove veterinarians to perform blood transfusions from other turtles in an attempt to revive the creature. In addition to being very swollen, veterinarians detected liver problems, although they will not be able to determine the reason for the pathology until they obtain results of various tests.
The three rescued turtles were all transferred at first to the main Tafira Recovery Centre, where they were given treatment and various tests carried out, and then they were taken to the more coastal Taliarte Centre, where they will remain in saltwater pools until their conditions improve and they can be returned to the sea.
These three specimens, as with all wounded turtles that arrive at the Insular Institution Centre, have become part of the European INDICIT project to learn about the environmental state of the seas through turtles, since they act as indicators to measure the amount of waste dumped into the ocean.

100% of the turtles that the Cabildo Wildlife Recovery Centre treats are found to have plastic inside their stomachs, so it is extremely important that if you find a turtle, even if there is no apparent injury, that you do not try to return it to the sea, but immediately notify the Cabildo by calling 928 351 970 .
One of the recently recovered and already released turtle, not only lost 2 phalanges but also had digested at least 150 pieces of microplastic.
Be better, do better and do not litter.



The Canary News

Coronavirus and companion animals

Press release by the Mogán Town Hall :
The General Directorate for Animal Rights communicate to the local, regional and state security bodies a series of recommendations regarding companion animals and their caretakers during the State of Emergency.
Given the situation caused by the pandemic declared by COVID-19, the following aspects and recommendations are insisted on, in relation to pet health care.
There is no scientific evidence that domestic animals suffer from or transmit COVI-19.

Wash your hands + social distance + cover  mouth when coughing + do not touch eyes, nose and mouth


After touching an animal + do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth + wash your hands.
Clean, when going home, with disinfectant gel, the paws and the tail for prevention.


It is recommended to leave the care of pets to another person.
Use new utensils for the animal and not used in the company of the positive person.
If you test positive and you have no one to leave the animal with, make sure to clean your hands regularly, wear a mask in the presence of the animal and avoid physical contact as much as possible.
Regarding the leash or other material related to the pet, it is advisable to wash and disinfect them or use new ones and discard those that have been in contact with the sick guardian. It is important to take these precautions to try to slow down the transmission of the virus.

Taking the dog out:

Short walks, only to cover physiological needs.
Without contact with other animals or people.
Bring a bottle of water with detergent to later clean the urine and a bag for faeces.
Prioritize less busy schedules

Animal feeding:

Feeding of feline colonies. Prioritize less busy schedules and try to space it as many days as possible.
Feed and care for animals on farms and animal protection centers.


* Veterinary clinics, as a health service, are open, but with protocols for prior appointment and treatment that cannot be postponed until the end of the alert period.

The General Directorate of Animal Rights is at the disposal of the different interlocutors to resolve issues related to the care of companion animals during the validity of the State of Alarm.



The Canary Guide

Curated news stories for English speakers who #LoveGranCanaria

The Canary News, Views & Sunshine - Est. 2009

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