Chief Executive’s Blog

August 30, 2013 § Leave a comment


Hello,

TianTian_1_kp_26.08.13_web

Tian Tian

As you are probably aware it has been a very exciting and busy time at Edinburgh Zoo this week with keepers beginning 24 hour panda watch. Keepers have access to CCTV footage of Tian Tian in their homes so that they can monitor her behaviour for any signs of labour. If Tian Tian is pregnant and carries to full term she will become increasingly restless and her waters will break – just like in human labour. Other signs include bleating and spending increased time in her cubbing box. We have also been joined by Haiping Hu, a Chinese panda keeper from the China Conservation and Research Centre who has many years’ experience with panda births. This is a very sensitive period in panda pregnancy and so to keep Tian Tian as relaxed as possible we have given her access to her off show den area, where she is choosing to spend most of her time. We will continue to keep you posted on any developments!

Up at the Highland Wildlife Park there has been a new arrival of a different kind, with a new male yak arriving from Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre in Perthshire. He has been described by the keepers as a very calm, placid fellow and he will spend a few weeks in quarantine before joining our six other yaks. The Park’s two Arctic foxes have also moved back into their newly revamped enclosure and seem to be enjoying exploring their new home. Finally, if visitors are patient they may just spot the two wildcat kittens born to our female Betidh a couple of weeks ago as they are just starting to come out of their nest box and explore their enclosure.

Doug Allan

Wildlife Cameraman Doug Allan

Back at Edinburgh Zoo our special centenary events are continuing to be very popular. On Thursday 3rd October we have Lee Durrell, Honorary Director of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust giving a lecture called Saving Species from Extinction: The Story of Durrell and Beyond. Lee and her late husband Gerald have been pioneers in shaping and promoting the importance of conservation and it is an honour to be hosting her at the Zoo. The following week, on Thursday 10th October we will be hosting another important member of the conservation world: BAFTA award-winning wildlife cameraman Doug Allan. No other cameraman is as experienced in filming polar regions and has worked on programmes including Blue Planet, Planet Earth, Life, Human Planet, Ocean Giants, Frozen Planet and Secrets of our Living Planet. Both talks will be taking place at the Education Centre from 7:30pm. If you would like to attend this event, booking is recommended. Places can be reserved by calling 0131 314 0340 or by emailing jpaulson@rzss.org.uk. More information about these events can be found at http://www.edinburghzoo.org.uk/whatson/

“To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed.”

― Theodore Roosevelt

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