Chief Executive’s blog

October 3, 2011 § Leave a comment


Well Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park were both packed with visitors taking advantage of the glorious weather last week. The Indian summer was definitely enjoyed by all, animals and visitors alike. I regularly walked past enclosures with animals basking in the sun and enjoying the rays whilst they lasted. It’s just such a shame the run of good weather had to end in time for the weekend – and today is certainly blustery here in Edinburgh.

Our chimpanzees chill out with some frozen treats

On Friday just gone our 21 chimpanzees at Edinburgh Zoo’s Budongo Trail were treated to frozen treats that were a lot like healthy ice lollies. Keeper’s mixed fruit juice and chopped fruit to freeze for the group. There were lots of woops of excitement as the chimps communicated to each other that there was something nice to eat.

At the Highland Wildlife Park the annual deer rut is showing signs of starting. Although it’ll be a number of weeks before it reaches its climax, most of the males have already been driven away from the females and the herd’s dominant male is beginning to below.

On the maintenance front, last week at Edinburgh Zoo we’ve been finishing stone work around the site with stone collected from the Highland Wildlife Park. 12 new trees have also been planted around our grounds.

Our shop at Edinburgh Zoo is stocking new greeting card designs by a Scottish-based artist with a passion for painting exotic animals. We’ve turned her original oil paintings into a range of gift cards. Her paintings are extremely expressive and show bold use of paint, and she perfectly captures the spirit of many of the fascinating and rare species found at Edinburgh Zoo.

Not just cute- wildcat kittens like this one are vital to conservation. Photo by David Barclay

We’ve also been pleased to announce to the public a new Scottish wildcat double act at the Highland Wildlife Park. Two year old bachelor Fluffy and five year old Betty have recently been introduced to each other and all the early signs look promising that they’ll become a breeding pair. Our second breeding pair at the Park, it would be a huge boost to the conservation of this critically endangered species if any kittens arrived next spring.

Finally, Edinburgh Zoo announced more details about our Halloween fright night on Friday 28th October this year. If you’ve ever wondered what the animals get up to when the lights are turned out and the gates shut for the evening, this could be your chance to find out. Follow this link for further details: http://www.edinburghzoo.org.uk/whatson/events/events_calendar/articles/event_139.html.

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