Half term is here!

February 10, 2010 § 1 Comment


Next week sees the mid-term holidays in Edinburgh, and we expect the zoo to be busy! Here’s what you can look out for if you’re planning to visit.

We are thrilled to announce that yet another Guinea baboon was born on the 12th January to 4 year old ‘Uma’. Uma is the youngest Mum to date from our troop, but she is doing an excellent job of caring for her youngster. She certainly has plenty of role models as this is the fourth baby to be born since August. This new addition brings the troop to a healthy 37 individuals (they can live in troops of up to 200)! The troop are fiercely protective of their young and they have good reason to be! Baboons can be an important food source for other animals in the wild. Some of the largest eagles will feed on them or their young. The African crowned hawk eagle will often hunt in pairs. One swoops and perches among a troop of baboons, and while they mob it, the mate swoops from behind and picks up an unwary baboon!

However, this protectiveness does mean that all four youngsters are still to be sexed and named by the keepers. Will let you know their identities some time in the future!


Spot the baboon babies cuddling up to mum, or riding around their bellys!

We are also pleased to announce the birth of a common squirrel monkey born on Christmas day to the Eastern group of monkeys, over at Living Links! This is the ninth birth amongst all our common squirrel monkeys this breeding season (and it may not be the last!) Four year old ‘Verde’ is mum to the new addition, and she can be identified by the green bead she wears around her neck (that and the small baby clinging on!).

Some of the older squirrel monkey babies have now also been sexed and named. Over on the eastern side of Living Links, it’s the boys that have been dominating, with three male babies identified out of five. (The other two have not yet been sexed). They have all been given suitably South American names; Djuan, Jose and Salvador.

However, to even things out, it’s all about girl power over on the western side of Living Links! Three out of four of the babies have been identified as female (the fourth one is male). Again, they have been given traditional names; Dita, Sancha, Maribel and Paz!

The babies are all getting much bigger now, making them much easier to spot! They are also becoming more confident, spending some time away from their mothers, exploring their enclosure and developing their climbing and balancing skills! Why not pay them a visit to see how they are coming along? 

Maribel gets herself in a twist with Mum!

And last but not least, our Chinese New Year celebrations are set to take place this weekend, followed by out mid-term ‘Eco-week’ activities all next week.

2010 is the Chinese Year of the Tiger, and as part of our celebrations you will have the chance to find out more about this endangered species – even putting your hand inside the mouth of tiger (no, not a live one!) – as well as exploring Chinese traditions and having a go at some Chinese art!

Activities will take place Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 February 2010 from 11.0 0am – 3.30 pm each day.  Normal zoo admission rates apply.

2010 – Year of the tiger

Eco Week is also taking place next week and is a week-long programme of activities that feature lots of different ways to “green” your lifestyle in fun and interesting ways. 

Learn all about reducing waste, saving energy and methods to tackle climate change. There will also be stalls about sustainable fishing, fair trade and an eco-drive simulator that helps people drive in a more environmentally friendly way.

To top it off, there will be lots of hands-on activities in the Eco Craft Room, including building bird feeders and making wind turbines.

Activities will take place from Monday 15 February to Sunday 21 February, from 11am to 3.30pm every day. Normal zoo admission rates apply.

Eco week – you have the power!



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