Parco Natura Viva was opened in 1969. It covers about 40 hectares of land and is a natural zoological garden which is home to some 1.500 specimens belonging to over 250 wild species. Each year the Park is visited by around 40.000 school students, from kindergarten to high school, as well as almost half a million individual visitors.
The Park is divided into two main areas to visit: the Safari Park, in which the visitor stays in his vehicle, and the Fauna Park, which is for pedestrians only. The Park’s predominant activity involves the breeding of wild animal species, in coordination with leading zoological institutions in Europe. This commitment is also enshrined in art.1of Legislative Decree. 73 of 21 March 2005 which lays down rules aimed at enhancing “the role in conserving biodiversity, in order to protect wildlife andpreserve the same biological diversity”.
The usefulness and necessity of a modern zoo was officially defined by the Rio Conference in 1992, where the value of conservation, ex situ integrated with in situ, for the protection of biodiversity was strongly stressed. The outlook of Parco Natura Viva is now the world: in addition to contacts with local and national organizations, a modern zoo must cultivate a dense network of international contacts in order to coordinate the management of animal populations to avoid risks of inter-breeding and to promote initiatives for the reintroduction of endangered species into the wild.