Chief Executive’s Blog

September 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

It seems that winter is almost upon us, and with this in mind Edinburgh Zoo is launching the winter talks programmes from 1 October. Slightly different from the usual talks schedule which takes place daily around the Zoo, it still gives visitors the chance to find out more about some of our other animals and the majority of winter talks take place inside! Be sure to visit the daily ‘what’s on’ section of the website nearer the time to find out more.

Another panda pair, this time the pair of red pandas at Highland Wildlife Park are said to be settling in well together. Kitty and Kevyn, both just over a year old have been getting on well together, although it will still be a few more months before they are sexually mature, they seem to have bonded well with one another. The Park specialises in cold weather adapted species from all over the world, and keepers are hopeful that Kitty and Kevyn will successfully mate and produce their first litter of cubs in the next year or so, which would help contribute to the conservation programme of this beautiful and unique species.

As you know we said farewell to male Patagonian sea lion, Sofus last week. The big move went extremely well and all the positive reinforcement training paid off, as Sofus was quite comfortable entering his transport crate. You can visit our YouTube channel to watch the footage of Sofus leaving

Edinburgh Zoo welcomed four great white pelicans earlier this week, the group is made up of three males and one female. They can currently be spotted in the duck ponds enclosure, before shortly moving to their permanent enclosure at the main entrance. These rather large and impressive birds are well known for their large beaks which they use to scoop fish out of the water. As well as this, they also have a neck pouch which can stretch to hold several litres of water, which they then squeeze out leaving only the fish to swallow.

More exciting news from The Scottish Beaver Trial this week – a conservation project which RZSS is involved with. The team were delighted to spot a new kit at Loch Buic, this is the first kit born to breeding pair Trude and Eoghann. This kit along with the four which were born earlier this year at Dubh Loch, meaning that it’s been a record breeding year for the trial since it began three years ago.

Looking forward to October, I’m pleased to say that October will be all about Creepy Crawlies. From 5 to 28 October Edinburgh Zoo’s Creepy Crawly event will be taking place in the Budongo lecture theatre, with lots of different invertebrates on show including giant Florida katydids, leaf ants, and stick insects as well as many other fascinating species. There will also be Creepy Crawly arts and crafts taking place as well as insect handling sessions, the team will also be joined by the British Arachnological Society who will be on hand to answer any questions about these eight-legged insects. For more information on this event please visit

Finally, I’m off to the annual EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria) conference being held in Innesbruck this year. This is the largest gathering of the community from European Zoos and Aquariums. The conference will see over 600 delegates come together to share experiences, and discuss different topics within the community. I thoroughly look forward to us being hosts of this important conference next year at Edinburgh Zoo, which will be a wonderful and relevant honour for the Zoo and the city of Edinburgh during our centenary year.

Until next week,

Best, Chris


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