Chief Executive’s Blog

July 5, 2013 § Leave a comment


Up at the Highland Wildlife Park our twin Amur tiger cubs have started to say hello to their fans this week, with visitors now allowed access to the viewing window into the tiger house. At five weeks old, this wobbly duo is starting to explore their surroundings, with mum Dominika keeping a very close eye on them. Over the next few weeks they will be gradually allowed access to their outdoor enclosure and will be introduced to father Marty. Marty has already seen his youngsters through wire mesh doors and keepers are confident he will be a great dad.

FemaleArcticFox_summercoat

Elf, female arctic fox by Alex Riddell

Still at the Highland Wildlife Park our resident photographer managed to capture this amazing photograph of our female arctic fox, Elf, as she has started to develop her summer coat. Contrary to popular belief, arctic foxes are not pure white all year round but turn a sooty, brown-grey during the warmer months, which helps them camouflage in the tundra landscape once the snow has melted. Their summer coat is also significantly lighter and thinner than their thick, fluffy winter coat.

At Edinburgh Zoo we have had some exciting new births in our primates and hoofstock sections, including a Drill, Barbary macaque, pudu calf and a lesser kudu calf. The Highland Wildlife Park baby boom continues with two eastern kiang foals, and four Himalayan tahr lambs. The European wolf pups have also started to explore Wolf Wood, much to the delight of visitors.

Scottish wildcat by Katie Paton

Scottish wildcat by Katie Paton

Also at Edinburgh Zoo, as part of summer holidays the RZSS Conservation in Action exhibition will be launching on Monday 8th July in Budongo Trail. The exhibition will give visitors both young and old the opportunity to get hands on and learn more about some of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s key conservation projects. It will focus on four in-situ conservation projects: The Scottish Beaver Trial, Highland Tiger project, Budongo Conservation Field Station in Uganda and the Pantanal Conservation and Research Initiative. There will be information explaining the story behind each conservation project as well as activities for all ages that will provide people with the opportunity to experience some of the crucial work that goes into each of the featured conservation field projects. Visitors will be able to see if they can distinguish between a Scottish wildcat and a feral cat, utilising the same identification markers used by field scientists or create a dam similar to a wild beaver’s. They will also be challenged to identify the Zoo’s oldest chimpanzee, Cindy, as a researcher would identify a particular chimp in the Budongo as well as guess the animal tracks found in the Pantanal wetland. More information about RZSS conservation projects can be found at http://www.rzss.org.uk/conservation-programmes

Finally we are offering our members and supporters a once in a lifetime guided tour to China, accompanied by our Director of Pandas and Strategic Innovation, culminating in a visit to one of our partner panda reserves for a special behind the scenes experience. This holiday is offered at a competitive rate through the Travel Company, located in Corstorphine. To register your interest or book your place please visit www.ttce.com/panda or call 0131 625 8188.

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