Chief Executive’s Blog
March 8, 2013 § Leave a comment
This week our new online cameras got a lot of attention.
We officially launched our improved panda cams. With intelligent tracking systems and new video cameras installed in the panda enclosures, the new panda cams provide not only our own visitors, but panda fans all over the world, with a high definition view of our pandas. Other than visiting in person, this is the next best way to follow the antics of Tian Tian and Yang Guang. Right now it’s a great time to tune in to see plenty of seasonal behaviour like scent marking. Currently Yang Guang’s camera is open for all members of the public to view and Tian Tian is for members of the RZSS only via their exclusive member’s portal.
We also streamed a special one hour preview of Penguins Rock, our new state of the art penguin enclosure that will open next week. Via penguin cam, online viewers were able to see the first batch of penguins enter the enclosure and get to know their new facilities. In that short space of time we had an incredible 4,600 hits to the penguin cam itself, a Facebook post in the lead up to the online event was seen by 45,000 people and got over 100 comments – testament to the fondness felt for Edinburgh Zoo’s penguins.
The gentoo penguins that remained at Edinburgh Zoo whilst renovation work took place on the main enclosure have now moved back into the new Penguins Rock. They have just been joined by penguins from Belfast and Odense. A private official opening of the new enclosure will take place with an evening reception on Wednesday 13th March, before opening to members of the public on Thursday 14th March.
Penguin cam is now permanently switched on for members on their private portal and then to everyone from Thursday 14th March.
Still with Edinburgh Zoo, three of our education team are attending a European Zoo Educators Conference (EZE) organised by the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). Hosted by Burgers’ Zoo in Arnhem, in the Netherlands, it’s a fantastic opportunity for over 100 educators from related organisations across Europe to meet to share ideas and information.
Other networking within RZSS is taking place in Minneapolis this week. Arnaud Desbiez, our regional co-ordinator for Latin America, is attending a Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG) regional network meeting, helping to promote RZSS conservation in Brazil at both a national and international level.
Also on an international level, our veterinary surgeon Romain Pizzi has just returned from a two week wildlife veterinary training course in Laos. Together with wildlife veterinarians from India, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Australia, it was the fourth wildlife veterinary training course that he has run in South East Asia in the last four years. The BBC also filmed him on his trip, during which he performed the world’s first successful brain surgery in a wildlife patient for a documentary airing in 2014.
Back to UK conservation, the Scottish Beaver Trial (SBT) was included in the BBC series Great British Winter that aired on BBC2 this week. Follow this iplayer link to catch up with the episode. http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01r6gtf/The_Great_British_Winter_Forests/
Finally, up to the Highlands, the first baby of the year was born at the Highland Wildlife Park. A male Mishmi takin calf was born on Sunday 3rd March and is doing well.