Chief Executive’s Blog

November 8, 2013 § Leave a comment


At Edinburgh Zoo we have had two exciting birth announcements this week. Pygmy hippos Ellen and Otto became proud parents of Adana, a new female calf who was born on Sunday 27th October. Adana, which means “her father’s daughter”, was weighed by keepers on Monday and came in at a healthy 10.5kg; she will continue to put on roughly 250 grams every day. Adult pygmy hippos weigh between 180kg and 275kg!
Mum Ellen was herself born at Edinburgh Zoo in 2005, named after yachtswoman Ellen McArthur, and this is her third female youngster born to dad Otto. Leishan was born in 2009 and Eve on New Year’s Eve in 2011. Native to West Africa, pygmy hippos are endangered through hunting and habitat loss. Edinburgh Zoo has successfully been part of the European Breeding Programme for this species for many years, with 18 offspring successfully reared here since the 1970s. Darren McGarry, the Head of Living Collections at the Zoo, also sits on the European Endangered Programme Committee.
We also celebrated the arrival of four Visayan warty piglets. The foursome was born to mum Mina and dad Ynigo on Tuesday, 29th October and are doing very well. Although they are tiny at the moment, the piglets will grow to weigh between 30kg and 40kg, depending on their sex. The keepers will wait until the piglets are a few weeks older and more independent from Mina before sexing and naming them.

Native to the Visayan Islands in the Philippines, the Visayan warty pig is Critically Endangered, and is now found in only two per cent of its original range. Edinburgh Zoo is part of the European Endangered Species breeding programme (EEP) for Visayan warty pigs and has successfully bred the species for several years. The long term aim of the Visayan warty pig conservation project is to reintroduce the species to the islands where they have become locally extinct.

In news from our veterinary department, Edinburgh Zoo has just received official approval to become a residency training centre for the European College of Zoological Medicine (Zoo Health Management). The Zoo is only the second place in the world to achieve this standard, which will allow us to take and train already qualified vets who wish to gain their specialist Diploma in Zoological Medicine (Zoo Health Management). Well done on this excellent achievement!

Up at the Highland Wildlife Park, snow has started to cap the surrounding Cairngorms and the occasional light flurry has been spotted on the live snow monkey cam, which can be watched here: As winter is now upon us, both parks have changed to winter opening hours. The Highland Wildlife Park is open 10am until 4pm each day, whilst Edinburgh Zoo is open 9am until 4:30pm.

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.” 
― Mahatma Gandhi



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