Chief Executive’s Blog

December 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

Friday 23 December 2011

Well this is my last blog before Christmas, so I’m delighted to wish you all a Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year whilst I have the chance.

It’s been an eventful 2011 for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, with some real highs.  Our sights are firmly set on the future and all the tremendously positive things that 2012 will bring.

Exciting news this week was one of our vets, Romain Pizzi, performed ground-breaking keyhole surgery on one of the Golden Cats at Edinburgh Zoo.  He used a pretzel shaped surgical instrument, designed especially for this operation, to perform a minimally invasive liver and kidney biopsy.  Ipoh, the cat, had lost weight over the last few months and his behaviour and scans had led keepers to believe this procedure was necessary.


The pioneering technology allowed Romain to fully explore all the abdominal organs and, despite being the first time Romain had used this new surgical instrument, the operation was a great success.  Shortly after surgery the cat was up, behaving normally, and eating.

Although practiced regularly by Romain here at the RZSS, keyhole surgery is still extremely rare across the animal world in general.  It is so rare that Prof Tang of the Ya’an Panda centre in China, who is visiting the Zoo to help the Giant Panda’s settle in, watched the whole thing, with a view to apply these techniques on Panda’s in his hometown of China.

This week Edinburgh Zoo unveiled another animal themed bus on the service 26 route.  The new bus features the giant panda characters of Tian Tian and Yang Guang and joins the fleet of 10 other animal themed buses often seen brightening up the Edinburgh roads.

Duke and Noemie the Sclater’s lemurs at Edinburgh Zoo enjoyed Christmas enrichment too.  They took delivery of a sack full of presents to investigate.  Over the festive period our keepers at the Highland Wildlife Park and Edinburgh Zoo will take the opportunity to introduce a wide variety of Christmas themed enrichment, it is great fun for our keepers and animals alike.

This is where I sign off for 2011 and I look forward to blogging again early in the New Year.

Best wishes for the festive season,

Hugh Roberts


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