Difficult times for the birds of Benalmádena

The cable cars that soar to the top of the mountain Calamorro is a major tourist attraction in Benalmádena however COVID-19 has ruined that too. Visitors are welcomed by the sounds of all different kinds of birds in the Valle de las Álguilas.

Due to the decrease in tourism the business is seriously struggling financially and many staff have been let go in a bid to somehow save money. There are volunteers that offer help, and have many jobs they do around the privately-run zoo.

Jurgen Nikolaus and Jan, father and son run this business and before the disastrous pandemic hit, they had around 200-300 visitors a day. However, those numbers have dropped and they only have around 20-30 visitors at weekends, due to the cable cars only running then.

The zoo is full of birds from around the world, and the staff do training sessions in front of visitors along with the birds flying and hunting skills. Jurgen has many gifts apart from owning this centre and being very educated in birds. He is also a very good judo player, has lived in many places but finally settled down on the mountain of Benalmádena.

They father and son also make business by breeding and selling birds to professionals, they go through a strict process to ensure the buyer is the correct match for the bird. The birds are fed expensive and healthy food, the go through 800 kilos of food every month and a half. However, soon they may not be able to pay for the food to feed their animals, as they have no support from tourism or the government.

The father and son are desperate for people to go and visit the centre, whether they are tourists or Spanish people, they welcome all people and want everyone to be able to see the great work the staff have done with the zoo.

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Kaela

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