Chief Executive’s Blog

July 29, 2011 § Leave a comment


Well apart from yesterday, this week so far has been one of glorious sunshine at Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park, and our animals and visitors alike have been basking in the sun.

On one particularly hot day keeper’s at the Highland Wildlife Park reported that Walker, the UK’s only Polar bear, was dipping his front and then back paws into his water trough to cool down and enjoying lying in the shade of his den.

Speaking of Walker, this week our giant underwent a dental operation.  The two and a half year old had a tooth problem when he first arrived at the Highland Wildlife Park.  An operation took place earlier this year to remove a problem canine, but a second operation was needed earlier this week to hopefully solve the problem for good.  Incredibly it took eleven people to lift him onto a makeshift operating table of hay bales, and he’s not yet fully grown.

Other highlights this week were Rob Thomas our Conservation and Research Manager taking a dip in the world famous penguin pool at Edinburgh Zoo.  Rob, who is training for the London Triathlon on the 30th July, needed an outdoor space to practice for the swim element of the event.  We bet that no other competitors trained in quite the same way as Rob, and our extremely curious penguins certainly got a great deal of enrichment out of it.

Next week will see maintenance of Edinburgh Zoo continue.  The exterior of the Member’s toilets will be painted, as well as the surrounding buildings.  Cleaning and painting of the Rhea house and mixed Lemur house will also take place.

Coming soon in the Budongo Trail at Edinburgh Zoo will be a new temporary visitor attraction courtesy of the BBC.  The project is called After Life and it’s been created by BBC Scotland and will be the core of a feature length documentary about decomposition to be shown on BBC Four later this year.  A 6m x 6m box will contain a typical kitchen and garden – and the usual stuff of everyday life – with a view to seeing how it rots down over a two month period.  Events in the box will be recorded using the latest technology in time-lapse photography and microscopy.

Lastly, if you’re a member, don’t forget Friday 29th July is Member’s Evening at Edinburgh Zoo and all members are invited to bring along a friend for free.

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