Chief Executive’s Blog

November 15, 2013 § Leave a comment


Rainbow_kingpenguinIn news from Edinburgh Zoo, our koala joey is becoming increasingly active and is starting to be seen more and more. Often this is just a limb or a nose sticking out of the pouch, so visitors still have to be very patient to catch a glimpse! Our Visayan warty piglets have had their first health check and the keepers have sexed them as two boys and two girls, though names are still to be chosen. Finally, on Monday a new male king penguin arrived from Denmark. His name is Rainbow and he is settling into the group nicely. Edinburgh Zoo only houses a bachelor group of king penguins at the moment, as females are quite rare.

Up at the Highland Wildlife Park, keepers have been enjoying watching Kush, the red panda cub, learn to climb trees. Despite this being an everyday part of life for a red panda, Kush does seem rather worried about it all! Kush was born in early June this year and is the Park’s first red panda cub. He has become a firm favourite with keepers and visitors alike and can be seen near the visitor centre with his parents Kitty and Kevyn.

Photo by Alex Riddell

Photo by Alex Riddell

This week the Park also received a visit from Rhoda Grant, MSP and the Scottish Environment LINK Species Champion for the Scottish wildcat. During her visit, Rhoda met with Douglas Richardson, Head of Living Collections for the Park and steering group member for the Scottish Wildcat Conservation Action Group, to talk about the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s involvement in the recently launched Scottish Wildcat Conservation Action Plan. Rhoda also had the opportunity to meet the Park’s resident adult wildcats Betidh, Hamish and Zak, alongside three month old kittens Ness and Einich.

Yesterday, I attended Scottish Parliament to hear Colin Keir, MSP for Edinburgh Western open a Member’s debate that commended Edinburgh Zoo’s work over the past 100 years. I was delighted to hear several members of Parliament discuss the achievements of both Edinburgh Zoo and RZSS, as well as share their own personal stories of time spent at the Zoo. This year has certainly been an immense one for RZSS and over the next 100 years, we will continue to work towards our aim of connecting people with nature and safeguarding species from extinction.

Finally, a brief reminder that our carnivore keepers will be holding a Panda and Carnivore Talk on Thursday 28th November from 7:30pm. During the evening, the keepers will discuss all of the recent news within the carnivore section, as well as talk about their work with giant pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang. If you would like to attend this special event, booking is recommended. Tickets cost £5 for members and £7 for non-members. You can book by either calling 0131 314 0334 or emailing

“Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.”
― Edward O. Wilson


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