Half-term is here!

February 17, 2009 § Leave a comment


The half-term holidays are upon us in Edinburgh this week, and the zoo is bustling with visitors. But of course, the animals aren’t taking a break! Here’s what they have been up to over the last week.


A Pygmy Marmoset baby was born on the 23rd January, and although the sex of the baby as of yet is unknown, it has been ironically named ‘Apocalypse’. Pygmy Marmosets are the smallest monkeys in the world with an average body-length of just 15cm! The Pygmy Marmosets can be spotted (if you look very carefully!) living alongside a pair of Golden-headed Lion Tamarins in the Magic Forest exhibit.


A Pygmy Marmoset carefully grooms a youngster 

A Pygmy Marmoset carefully grooms a youngster


We waved goodbye to our male Giant Anteater on the 10th February as he left us for Belfast Zoo. He had been living alongside our pair of Maned Wolves in their South American species enclosure. However, being a nocturnal animal, he was rarely seen out and about during the day, preferring to tuck himself away in a corner of his darkened inside enclosure!

In the future, we are planning to introduce a new, young pair of Giant Anteaters to the zoo, with the hopes of breeding them. However, for now, we are putting this off as we await the births of Maned Wolf pups! We will keep you up-dated on the status of our South American animals right here!


A Maned Wolf rests in its hide 

 A Maned Wolf rests in its hide


Many of us may be glad that the weather has warmed somewhat this week. But one zoo resident that won’t be so pleased are our Wolverines. Wolverines can be found throughout the Northern Hemisphere in Europe, Russia and Canada, and are particularly well adapted to cold habitats, possessing a frost-resistant fur and the ability to tear through frozen meat.

Keepers reported that these normally elusive animals particularly enjoyed the recent snowy weather. Currently, our male Wolverine, Xale, has been mixed with one of our females, Pige, in the hopes of breeding them together. These two individuals could be seen play wrestling each other in the snow last week!

Wolverines are typically solitary animals, only joining together to breed when females are in oestrus. Once breeding has taken place, they part to go their separate ways, and the female will rear her kits alone. Therefore, whilst our two wolverines continue to enjoy one another’s company they will remain mixed. However, once they begin to exhibit signs that they would be happier alone, they will be separated again.

We are hopeful that the positive behaviours observed between these Wolverines will lead to a successful breeding season, and we will keep you updated on their progress right here!


Despite its size the Wolverine is considered a ferocious animal 

Despite its size the Wolverine is considered a ferocious animal


To find out more about Wolverines, please join us on the 19th Febuary for the EAZA European Carnivore Campaign Launch Night. This year, Zoos and Aquaria throughout Europe are highlighting the plight of twelve predator species known as the ‘Dirty Dozen’, and raising money to aid in their conservation. Come along to the Launch Night to find out more about these species, and what RZSS will be doing to conserve them. The talk starts at 7.30pm in the Education Centre.

Cost: £4.50, Members £4.00

Advanced Booking essential on 0131 314 0350 or by visiting http://www.rzss.org.uk.




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