Spring has sprung…

March 24, 2009 § Leave a comment


This week saw the ‘official’ start of spring on the 20th March, and haven’t we noticed it! The zoo has been bustling with visitors and press this week, as the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland enjoyed its 100 year birthday on Wednesday 18th March, and many of the zoo residents have also been out enjoying the recent sunshine and warm temperatures!

Some of the animals venturing ‘out’ for the first time ever this week were the 4 Bush dog puppies, born back in February. They can be seen cautiously peering out of their enclosure and occasionally following the adult dogs into the outside enclosure on rather unsteady feet! They have been spotted venturing out at least once every day this week, and it seems that their confidence and curiosity grows each time! If you are visiting the zoo, it may be worth stopping at their enclosure at different times during the day, as they tend to just come out for short intervals at a time.

2 of the 4 Bush Dog puppies peer out cautiously

2 of the 4 Bush Dog puppies peer out cautiously

This week, another adult male Chimpanzee, David, also underwent a vasectomy operation. As with Qafzeh, Kindia and Liberius, David’s DNA test proved that he is not a pure Western Chimpanzee and therefore will not breed in the future. Once again, the operation went very smoothly, and David is recovering well. We can now confirm that the only pure western Chimpanzee males in our group are Ricky and Louis. Of the females, Cindy, Lyndsey, Emma and Kilimi have also been found not to be of pure Western lineage. These females will be given contraceptive implants, to allow them to continue mating behaviours, without producing any offspring. The lineage of the final female, Lucy, has not yet been confirmed, and will require further tests. We will keep you updated here on the future breeding plans for our chimpanzee group.

Louis, a Western Chimpanzee with breeding prospects for the future 

Louis, a Western Chimpanzee with breeding prospects for the future

Finally, we are pleased to let you know that following a busy month of nesting behaviours from our Rockhopper Penguins (currently located in the smaller ‘creche’ enclosure, next to the larger Penguin enclosure), they have now laid 3 eggs! This is an excellent result from our group of just 18 Rockhopper Penguins (only 6 of which are female!), and there is still the chance of yet more eggs being laid in the near future!

A pair of Rockhopper Penguins stay close together while watching over their egg, on their secluded nest site

 A pair of Rockhopper Penguins stay close together while watching over their egg, on their secluded nest site

Last year the Rockhopper group produced just one chick and this youngster can still be easily spotted as he does not yet have the yellow crest feathers that all of the adults sport! We hope that the Rockhoppers will be even more successful than last year in this year’s breeding efforts and we will keep you posted right here!

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