Chief Executive’s Blog

March 27, 2012 § Leave a comment


After a gorgeous and sunny Sunday at Edinburgh Zoo, I’m delighted to see the lovely weather is predicted to continue until at least Friday.  I’m particularly looking forward to seeing many of the Park’s wildlife basking in the sunshine and enjoying the warmth whilst it lasts.  So far I’ve been told the otters behind the Mansion House have been jumping around in their stream, a lovely sight with which to start the week.

If you’re looking to take advantage of this glorious weather and wish to combine your visit with a trip to see our pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang, some tickets are still available before the weekend.

Speaking of giant pandas, excitement spread like wildfire around Edinburgh Zoo on Friday morning when Tian Tian suddenly took a liking to her pool.  She was spotted wading into to it, sitting in it and splashing in it on half a dozen different occasions.  There are still no changes in her hormones, but her behaviour is very encouraging as this is what pandas do when preparing for breeding.

The move of our final 29 Gentoo penguins went well last week.  Giving a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘p-p-pick up a penguin’, the birds were carried by our experienced team of animal keepers from the normal penguin enclosure to their new home in the Zoo for the next few months.  One bird per keeper, the Gentoos were taken up to the old rock hyrax enclosure, which has been converted into a temporary home for the Zoo’s remaining Gentoos.  This was the quickest and kindest way to transport them.  The birds have settled in well and their nesting rings and stones have just been added to their new enclosure in time for the annual breeding season.

On to another type of penguin, our Rockhoppers have started to lay eggs in their new enclosure.  Six eggs have been laid so far.  Most eggs are from established pairs of birds, however one egg is from a brand new pairing between one of our females and a male bird that recently arrived from Vienna.  We’ve not had a Rockhopper chick for a few years now, so it would be amazing for Edinburgh Zoo if one of the eggs hatched.

Our events with the annual Science Festival begin this Saturday 31 March and run until Thursday 5 April.  Various activities include a Bird Survey Breakfast at the Zoo, a look at our closest living relatives in Living Links to Human Evolution and the Secret Life of Scottish Seals.  For further information and to book tickets, please visit www.sciencefestival.co.uk or telephone 0844 557 2686.

Best wishes,

Hugh Roberts

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