Chief Executive’s Blog

August 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

The Highland Wildlife Park just worked out a wonderful statistic that I want to share with you. With the very recent birth of a litter of wildcats, 74% of the species that could breed have produced offspring so far this year – very exciting! In addition, we have at least one Przewalski’s horse and the adult female goral due to give birth within the next few weeks.


Red Panda adults by Alex Riddell

The red panda kit at the Park has been sexed and is a boy who has been named Kush, which means Happiness in Hindu. Two water vole young have been spotted in the families that are scheduled to be reintroduced as part of the Trossach Water Vole project on Monday 5th August. The two polar bears are also being weighed today and we expect them to weigh one tonne combined.

This week at Edinburgh Zoo we had a visit from CBBC Junior Vets who filmed with one of our Veterinary Surgeons, Romain Pizzi. Romain introduced two youngsters who are interested in getting involved in veterinary studies in the future to our gentoo penguins and giant African land snails. I’m told the children did very well indeed. Romain is performing keyhole surgery on a 110kg Galapagos giant tortoise for London Zoo early next week and is being filmed for a BBC 1 documentary.

Water Vole by Gordon Jack at

Water Vole by Gordon Jack at

Romain and our Conservation Manager Roisin Campbell-Palmer are in Perthshire this weekend performing important health screening checks on wild beavers as part of a RZSS/SNH project for Scottish Government. Incidentally the BBC Natural History Unit for The One Show will also be joining them and filming their important work.

Still with Edinburgh Zoo, the red bellied lemur offspring of Gizmo has been sexed as male and a brown capuchin monkey was also born earlier this week to female Santi in Living Links.

Finally, at Edinburgh Zoo this Saturday 3rd August we have a free event (with Zoo entry) that everyone is welcome to attend. A Bird and Primate Cognition Conference is taking place in the Budongo Lecture Theatre from 9.45am to 5.30pm. Various experts from universities around Scotland and even Europe will be presenting and the topics range from development in personality in corvids, to automatic imitation in capuchin monkeys and the power of friendship in female squirrel monkeys. It should be an interesting morning.

“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”
― Theodore Roosevelt


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