A bit of everything!

February 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

What do honey badgers, purple-faced langurs and our Garden’s team have in common? Nothing! Except they all feature in this week’s blog! Read on to find out more…

We are pleased to announce that a purple-faced langur monkey was born on the 16th December! The new born is a male, but he has yet to be named. He is the second baby to be born in the last two years to mum, ‘Kandy’.

This is excellent news as the IUCN red list have classified this species as endangered. This is largely due to the 50% population decline that has taken place over the last 30 years. All of the usual suspects are to blame for this dramatic decline; human encroachment, habitat loss and hunting are among the worst offenders.

There are also less than thirty purple-faced langur monkeys in captivity. Those kept at Edinburgh Zoo are of the sub-species Trachypithecus vetulus vetulus and they represent the only individuals of this sub-species kept within captivity, making them very special in deed! We are pleased that our small captive group is breeding, thereby building up their captive numbers. In the future, they could prove to be a valuable safe-guard against the extinction of this species. Why not pay these rare and special primates a visit?

Baby langur tries a bit of solid food

If you visit the zoo in the near future, you are likely to notice some large-scale gardens works going on outside the Oasis restaurant. This area of the zoo has been a rose garden for almost 100 years and was part of the original zoo landscape design back in the 1910s. The original garden contained over 20 rose beds and over the years has been slowly modified into the 5 beds.

However, the rose beds are now old. The soil has not been changed in many years and it is fair to say that it is now exhausted of nutrients, despite their annual manure application. As a result, the roses were not performing,

2013 is the Edinburgh Zoo centenary year and the Garden’s team are hoping to re-instate these rose gardens to their original 1913 design (and glory!) in time for these celebrations. However, in order to do this they will need a complete over-haul of the area, which is why they have begun work now!

In the meantime, the team also plan to form a new, temporary flower bed in this area that will show-case edible plants (some of which may be eaten by the animals!). These will be planted for spring 2011.

The Garden’s team care for over 4,000 different species, including some which are endangered. If you would like to find out more about the work our Garden’s team do, including a look at some of the interesting historic species they keep, and the plant conservation projects they support, then come along to the ‘Centenary Garden’s’ Talk this Thursday evening, 7.30 – 9.00pm. Cost: Non-members £6/ Members £4. Advance booking essential: phone 0131 314 0350 or visit www.rzss.org.uk .

Our formidable Gardens team!

Finally, you may recall back in May 2009 that we announced that Tyson the honey badger would be leaving Edinburgh Zoo. Well, we weren’t lying, it just took him 9 months to get round to it! Tyson left the zoo last weekend for Howletts zoo in Kent. He will be introduced to their old resident female, in the hopes of getting him used to female company. We hope that this new and novel interaction will provide Tyson with some much needed enrichment! Tyson was always known for his energetic and sometimes destructive behaviours, and was often to be seen running non-stop around his enclosure at Edinburgh zoo! Perhaps a little female company will be just what he needs. The hope for the future is that Tyson can be introduced to another young, female, and that the two will ultimately breed, contributing to the honey badger captive population.

Tyson was a real character and will be very much missed!


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