Chief Executive’s Blog

February 14, 2012 § Leave a comment


This week we had our first Penguin Magic Moment keeper experience at Edinburgh Zoo.  Claire France came all the way from Leeds in Yorkshire to spend quality time with our iconic penguins.  She had the pleasure of actually going inside the penguin enclosure, hand feeding our penguins with fish and treating them to bubbles from a bubble machine as enrichment.  The penguins love chasing around after bubbles and it is great added stimulation for them as part of a much larger enrichment programme.  As Claire was the very first person to take part in a keeper experience at Edinburgh Zoo we also took her to meet Gizmo, a hand reared red-bellied lemur who gave her a warm welcome.

ImageLaunched at the end of last year, we’ve started offering people the chance to enjoy a variety of experiences normally just carried out by our keepers.  There’s everything from being a keeper for an entire day, to shorter magic moments with your favourite animal – I’ve mentioned a few above, but there’s also owl, rhino and creepy crawly experiences available right now.  We hope to launch others in the near future, please visit our online shop for more details or to buy your experience www.store.rzss.org.uk.

Some of our recent visitors to Edinburgh Zoo may have been amongst the lucky few to catch a glimpse of our new female jaguar who has just joined us from Krefeld Zoo in Germany.  She’s a shy youngster at around 18 months old, and is quite nocturnal for the moment.  In the future we hope she will become a mate for Mowgli, our male jaguar.

Image(photo by Mike Gilburt)

Footage of our giant panda Yang Guang exploring his new climbing structure was released this week.

Showing a real boisterous and playful side to his character, the clip shows him playing and hanging upside down from the top of the climbing frame’s tree house.  Viewers logged on globally to see him swinging around with such agility and strength.  Alison his keeper told me her heart was in her mouth the whole time as he rolled around on the roof, tummy to the sun!

News from the Highland Wildlife Park is that our mother and daughter Musk Ox duo, Karin and Madelon, have now ventured into their outdoor enclosure for the first time.  Visitors are now able to see these powerful ladies who will be joined later this year by a male.  Our four Chinese Gorals have relocated from Edinburgh Zoo to the Highland Wildlife Park, as the terrain and surroundings are very similar to that of their natural habitat. These fascinating animals are known for inhabiting steep, rocky terrain in the mountainous regions of Russia, China and Thailand – they also grow thick, wooly fur to help shelter them from the chilling winter temperatures…which will come in handy in the Scottish Highlands!

Finally, our panda Valentine’s Day packages sold out days after they appeared in our online shop.  Recipients of the 50 exclusive gifts will have to log on to our panda cam on Valentine’s Day to see their loved ones message.

Speak soon,

Hugh Roberts

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