Chief Executive’s Blog

March 20, 2012 § Leave a comment


Greetings from a beautiful day at the Zoo.

To start off with some good news, last week Eve our delightful pygmy hippo at Edinburgh Zoo started venturing out into her outdoor enclosure with mum.  Mainly sticking close by mum, Eve is clearly enthralled by the outside world and has been charming visitors as she explores everything around her.


Our King penguins have now successfully made their short term move to Birdland in Gloucester and the last of our Gentoo penguins are due to move into their temporary home shortly.  We’re actually going to have a penguin parade with a difference on Wednesday.  Our keepers will each carry a bird – securely under their arms – up to the old rock hyrax enclosure.  It’s the easiest way to do it and involves the birds being handled only once.  The phrase ppppick up a penguin has a totally new meaning for me now!  Come along and see for yourself – we’re expecting a lot of interest.

Excitement grows as we anticipate Tian Tian coming into season.  Urine samples are now couriered on a daily basis to the UK’s top endocrinologist, and although no hormonal changes have been detected so far, behavioural signs suggest it should be soon.  Yang Guang has started to eat almost twice his normal intake of bamboo, a sign he’s trying to bulk up and get himself into peak physical condition before the big day.  Tian Tian has also begun frequently calling out to Yang Guang.

Sadly we had to put Sasha, our 16 year old female Amur tiger at the Highland Wildlife Park, painlessly to sleep.  Her behaviour and demeanour had led our experienced keepers to believe she had health or senility issues.  Although an unhappy day for the keepers, members and adopters who loved and visited her, Sasha left behind a fantastic and vital legacy of her daughters, Natalia and Dominika, who remain at the Highland Wildlife Park.

If you’ve ever wondered how our gardening team set about designing an animal enclosure from scratch, join our Gardens Manager Simon Jones on Thursday 22nd March at Edinburgh Zoo.  He’ll be talking about the panda enclosure and other projects in the pipeline across the rest of the year.  Tickets are £5.00 for members and £7.00 for non-members.  Booking is recommended, so please get in touch with our events team on 0131 314 0334 or email ldickson@rzss.org.uk

Finally if you’re a member, our new look LifeLinks will go online any day now in the members’ portal, and if you’ve opted for a hard copy, it’ll be dropping through your letter box later this week.

Best wishes,

Hugh Roberts

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