January Animal News
January 20, 2009 § Leave a comment
Happy New Year and Welcome to the first ever Edinburgh Zoo blog!
This is the only place to get an official update on all of the comings, goings and antics that are happening here at Edinburgh Zoo! Look out for animal updates, pictures and even videos, posted here on a weekly basis.
The New Year has started crisp, cold and fresh here at Edinburgh, and as you can imagine, our penguins are fully enjoying this. They were certainly in their element on the 19th January, when we were fortunate enough to have a couple of hours of heavy snow fall. The penguins were running around their enclosure, trying to ‘catch’ falling snow flakes with their beaks.
A young Gentoo Penguin waddles around in the snow
It was particularly exciting for all of the penguins that hatched out only last summer, as it was their first ever encounter with the white stuff!
Our Rockhopper Penguin youngster (still lacking his yellow crest feathers!) strains to catch a falling snow flake
We’ve got our fingers crossed for more snow now, as it is fantastic enrichment for the penguins; stimulating them, and allowing them to show of their natural behaviours.
Suprisingly, the cold weather, has not stopped some of our zoo inhabitants used to far warmer climes, either!
Both our Nyala and Lesser Kudu antelope species, found natively in Africa, have seen the births of young within the last month. Our Nyala welcomed a young female into their herd on the 17th December ’08, whilst our Lesser Kudu welcomed a young male into the herd just last week, on the 14th January ’09.
Two young Nyala, born last spring, explore their enclosure together
Both of these species can be viewed on our ‘African Plains’ enclosure, at the top of the zoo. However, the youngsters are being kept sheltered inside, with their mothers, until they have grown a little more.
January also brings with it the 250th Burns Night celebrations! With this in mind, from the 25th January, Edinburgh Zoo will be exhibiting a very special native species – the Haggis (Haggissi aprilus primus).
The rarely-seen Mother Haggis!
Haggis have an unusual body structure, with the left and right legs being different lengths. This enables them to run around steep hillsides, which they are very good at in one direction, but find it very difficult in the opposite one.
Mating has never been observed, but they can produce large numbers of offspring. Breeding season is November – February.
Hunting is banned across Scotland. However, semi-domesticated Haggis are now bred to supply the increasing demand for Burns’ suppersevery January!
We will keep you updated on the progress of all these animals, right here!