Chief Executive’s Blog

June 7, 2013 § Leave a comment


This week at Edinburgh Zoo we celebrated National Volunteers Week. A celebration on many levels, the week coincided with our recruitment of a 100th volunteer in this our centenary year and also with the First Minister Alex Salmond’s first official visit to see the giant pandas.

Photo by Scottish Government

First Minister visits pandas during Zoo centenary celebrations
Photo provided by Scottish Government

It was important recognition for our Society to hear the First Minister praise Edinburgh Zoo as a fantastic institution that has been bringing fun and learning to generations for a hundred years and a beacon of animal conservation. It was also wonderful to have our volunteers and their important contribution recognised so publically.

Six volunteers were on hand to meet the First Minister and the gathered press, with the volunteers including Danielle Bowers – our newest and 100th recruit.

Did you know that combined our volunteers give at least 700 hours work free each month, engaging with visitors, fund-raising, promoting membership and adoption, and proving support in other areas too? If you are interested in joining our group, visit the RZSS website www.rzss.org.uk for further details

Also at Edinburgh Zoo this week the bird section has been busy. A new unrelated male rhea arrived alongside two smew (sea ducks), a male meller’s duck arrived to join our female and two green-winged dove squabs are visible in the nest in Brilliant Birds. A Barbary macaque was also born in the monkey house.

Photo by Alex Riddell

Photo by Alex Riddell

The biggest news of the week in terms of animal births was definitely up in the highlands though! The female Amur tiger gave birth to two cubs. Still early days, both are doing extremely well and Dominika is proving to be a good mother, like her own mother before her. Dominika is in fact one of the offspring of Sasha, our previous female Amur tiger, and this new first time mother was actually born at the Park – so as well as being an incredibley important birth as Amur tigers are so rare, the birth is doubly important as Dominika was born in the Highlands herself. We hope to have news of more births at the Park to share with you soon – we think it is going to be a bumper year!

Back to Edinburgh Zoo, if you still have not seen the Centenary Exhibition, it is now in the Budongo Trial at the Zoo – so come and look next time you are in.

Wishing_tree_tag4A centenary wishing tree also launches at the Zoo this week. One of the Zoo’s onsite blacksmiths, John Ramsay (known as JR), has been busy constructing an intricate and beautiful wishing tree. It features delicate leaves and wrought iron animals. Engraved wishes are available for purchase for the tree by contacting 0131 314 0323 or cpouso@rzss.org.uk

Best wishes,

Chris

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