Chief Executive’s Blog
September 12, 2013 §
This week has been an important one for the Society with Edinburgh Zoo hosting our first ever Giant Panda Research Symposium. Taking place from Tuesday 10th September until Thursday 12th September, the Symposium was officially opened by myself as well as the Chinese Consul General Li Ruiyou, RZSS Chairman Jeremy Peat and Jaguar Land Rover China President Bob Grace. Held in partnership with Jaguar Land Rover, the Symposium gathered local officials and over 65 experts from around the world to help develop a five-year research plan for giant pandas and we have been very pleased with the outcomes from this event, with many new ideas and plans being shared by our international colleagues.
This week we also played host to the media launch of PANDAS 3D. A project that involved Sky, National Geographic and Oxford Scientific Films, PANDAS 3D is a documentary filmed entirely in 3D that includes never before seen footage of giant pandas living in the Wolong National Nature Reserve in China. The premiere was held in our Budongo Lecture Theatre and I thought documentary was excellent.
In animal news, Pedra, one of our female brown capuchins at Edinburgh Zoo’s Living Links enclosure gave birth over the weekend. This is now the fourth brown capuchin infant to be born on the west side of the enclosure, with the other mothers including Lana, Santi, and Sylvi. We also had a new male Nyala arrive from Plzen in the Czech Republic on Tuesday afternoon. Although he is only 18 months old, he will one day be our herd’s adult breeding male – our Nyalas can be found in the African Plains at the top of the hill.
Photo by Alex Riddell
At the Highland Wildlife Park, keepers have named this season’s three Eastern kiang foals. The boy is called Rinchen, and the two girls are Dachen and Amala. The trio can be seen with the rest of their group in the Park’s front drive-through reserve. The Park has also welcomed another red deer calf born several weeks after the others – there’s always a late one! This newest arrival brings the red deer calves born this season up to an impressive 13.
For those who are interested in finding out more about the Society’s animal husbandry and conservation work, Edinburgh Zoo is offering an introductory course on Animal Welfare and Conservation. As part of Edinburgh Council’s autumn Adult Learning Programme, the 10 week course runs from 24th September until 19th November and offers participants the opportunity to take a closer look at the scientific research that is being carried out by the Society. The course will include learning about applied conservation genetics, wildlife forensics, veterinary, behaviour, ecology and nutrition. Each area of science plays a vital role in the care and conservation of animals in captivity and in the wild. To book this course please visit the Council website <http://ces.egfl.net/programme/prog01?category=day> or for more information contact Edinburgh Zoo’s Education Centre on 0131 314 0330. You can also email the course co-ordinator Alaina Macri at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The fate of animals is…indissolubly connected with the fate of men.”