Chicks, Monster moves, Star Wars and Beavers!
May 13, 2010 § 2 Comments
Its baby time here at the zoo with new arrivals popping up all over the place. Be sure to pay particular attention to our penguin colony with egg’s getting ready to break open and released the chicks inside. Visit our youtube channel to see some hatching in action as some of the new gentoo chicks are weighed for the first time.
In other penguin news those of you in the zoo last Tuesday might have noticed a charge of new energy floating round the zoo… some may even call it a force! That’s right Star Wars fan’s Tuesday was the fourth of May and to celebrate education officer Barry asked ‘May the Fourth be With You’ as he presented our 2.15 penguin parade renamed ‘The March of the Penguins’! (Just for the day.) For a bit of fun and games the penguins got to parade to the theme tune from the Star Wars movie and join in what some die-hard fans refer to as Star Wars day. May the force be with you. May the FOURTH. 4th of May! Yeh you get it….
Join the masses and check out the video which has already racked up over 30,000 hits on youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheEdinburghZoo#p/u/1/RQi2BATF2wA
We’d like to give a big Edinburgh Zoo welcome to 18 month old Samir our new juvenile Indian rhino. Regular blog readers will know one of our older rhino’s Baabuu left us back in April for pastures new in Chester to join the Indian rhino breeding program. Fanindra is still with us but set to leave around the beginning of next month. Once Fanindra has moved off to meet the new love of his life we will receive another juvenile male to befriend Samir. Samir, who came over from Stuttgart last week, and his new pal will spend time with us here at Edinburgh Zoo growing into fine young mature rhinos until they too reach sexual maturity around the age of 6 and move on to breed.
Samir is settling into his new surroundings and has access to the front rhino paddock and rhino house. Fanindra can be seen in the back paddock and rhino house.
The latest beaver news from the Scottish Beaver Trial!
Last week saw the introduction of another breeding pair of beavers into Knapdale Forest, Mid-Argyll. This pair (one male and one female) are the fourth family to be released into the area as part of the Scottish Beaver Trial.
The Scottish Beaver Trial (SBT) is a partnership project between the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park). The project was set up to find out if reintroducing beavers into the wild in Scotland is possible and to determine what the impacts of such a reintroduction could be. In May 2008 the Scottish government gave the go-ahead for a trial reintroduction and in May last year three families of beavers were released into Knapdale Forest and on 4thMay 2010 a fourth breeding pair were released. The introduced individuals are European beavers (the species most similar to the beavers that would have inhabited the UK before they were driven to extinction), they originally came from Norway and were released into Knapdale after a six month quarantine period and numerous health checks (the latest pair spent their quarantine period at Highland Wildlife Park).This was the fourth beaver family to be reintroduced to Scotland.
Beavers were once abundant in Britain until the 16th Century when they were hunted to extinction. They are what is known as a ‘keystone’ species, meaning that their presence in an ecosystem has a positive effect on its biodiversity. Their activities such as building dams and coppicing trees alter their surroundings creating a more diverse habitat and it is thought that many native species could benefit from the reintroduction of beavers to Scotland. The Scottish Beaver Trial is closely monitoring the beavers and the effects of beaver activities on the surrounding habitat and its wildlife. The trial will last for 5 years after which the findings will be used to determine whether or not further reintroductions could take place.
Further information on the trial can be found on the Scottish Beaver Trial website at: http://www.scottishbeavers.org.uk/