Chief Executive’s Blog

September 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

Our Chief Executive Hugh Roberts is visiting China this week in preparation for the arrival of the Giant Pandas later this year, however we still wanted to keep you up-to-date with all the latest news from the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland.

Scottish Beaver Trial

Scottish Beaver Trial Education Pack

Our big news this week is that, as part of the Scottish Beaver Trial, the Society has launched an education pack that will reach all primary and secondary children across Scotland. The pack was officially launched yesterday by Michael Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning. The education pack is an invaluable tool to help give Scottish school children a better understanding of this key native species – how they live, what they do and how they can improve the environment they live in.

Other high profile news is that the oldest resident at Edinburgh Zoo has celebrated his 50th birthday. Keepers prepared birthday-themed enrichment to celebrate Ricky’s big day, including a gigantic peanut butter flavoured birthday banner and some special chimp-friendly presents packed with edible treats. No one knows Ricky’s real birthday or true age, but our keeper’s estimate he has definitely reached the big 50. He’s a really important member of our chimp group and all the primate keepers here at Edinburgh Zoo have a soft spot for Ricky, and most importantly he has become an integral member of our chimpanzee group.

The Highland Wildlife Park held their first ever farmers market on Sunday 11th September. The market proved to be very popular with almost 700 visitors stopping by to check out the quality local farm produce and handmade local crafts. Owing to the huge success of this farmers market staff at the Highland are looking into putting on similar events in the future.

A new sort of Scottish Wildcat has taken up residence at the Highland Wildlife Park, only this one is made of fibreglass. Donated by a Scottish artist, the model is one from the Wildcat Experience at Newtonmore, in the Highlands.

Sir Nils Olav the King Penguin at Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo's Sir Nils Olav

Love has also been in the air at our penguin parade, with a young man popping the question to his girlfriend in the company of feathered friends. To mark the special occasion Sir Nils Olav, our most famous penguin, even came out on parade. Luckily the young lady in question said yes.


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