Chief Executive’s Blog

August 12, 2011 § Leave a comment


Well it’s been another packed week at the RZSS.

This week saw the conclusion of our adjourned AGM, chaired and introduced by our President John Spence. Around 170 of our members made it out to Murrayfield Stadium on what really was a horribly wet night. The evening allowed me to share my vision and immediate plans for the Society, and convey all that has been achieved over the last 12 weeks – from an on-going programme of re-investment at Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park to a revitalised internal and external communications strategy.

We were also delighted to receive a very special private visit from HRH Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Phillip enjoyed a tour of Edinburgh Zoo, spending time in the Budongo Trail, meeting some of our experienced keepers and learning more about the chimps.

Last week I told you about our penguin crèche at Edinburgh Zoo. Well I’m pleased to report that 15 penguins have already “graduated” from the crèche and are back in the main penguin enclosure after quickly picking up the essentials of swimming and feeding.

Our bird keepers at Edinburgh Zoo are also keeping everything crossed as they wait to see if the egg from the only female King penguin hatches. Laid in mid-June, the chick would be due to hatch right around now. However, it’s not always as straight forward as that. King penguin chicks are notoriously difficult to breed. We’re hopeful, but have no idea if the egg has even been fertilised, or if the chick will survive the incubation period. Only time will tell.

There’s also going to be a new breed of animal at Edinburgh Zoo from Sunday as part of the Fringe Festival – they’re the human animals that make up Enclosure 99. A unique display of movement and behaviour, Janis Claxton and her team of dancers will explore the similarities between humans and animals. If you want to catch them they’ll be performing from Sunday 14th to Sunday 28th August in our Koala Amphitheatre.

Finally, I was pleased to hear that the changeable weather hasn’t stopped the nine week old Pallas cat kittens at the Highland Wildlife Park start to explore their enclosure. At first glance the kittens can look like a normal domestic cat, just a little rounder, fluffier and with shorter ears. However, as many of you may know, they’re highly endangered and one of the oldest living species of cat on earth. Excitingly these special kittens are the first Pallas cats ever to been born at the Highland Wildlife Park.

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