Chief Executive’s Blog

December 6, 2013 § Leave a comment


This week at Edinburgh Zoo, we received a new male bearded dragon called Zac. Zac has come to us as a rescue animal from the SSPCA and joins Diloris our resident bearded dragon in the presentations department.

In news from the Highland Wildlife Park, the new pedestrian walkway through the Park’s front reserve opened to visitors on St Andrew’s Day. The construction of the walkway means that people visiting the Park on foot now have easier access, as they would have previously needed to be driven by a staff member from the ticket kiosks to the visitor centre. The walkway features a 150 metre long raised platform that allows the resident kiang, yak and camels to pass freely from one side to the other as well as offering visitors brilliant views of the Cairngorms. This was the new yak bull, Voldemort’s, first encounter with the other animals. He was very curious and decided to have a minor stand-off with Peach the kiang stallion – the camels were completely oblivious.

Birthday treats by Alex Riddell

Birthday treats by Alex Riddell

Still up at the Park, on Monday the keepers threw a joint birthday party for polar bears Walker and Arktos, giving the boys icy treats filled with sardines and carrots as enrichment. The bears loved their presents, which had been attached to a rope and hung in one of the enclosure’s trees for them to find. Arktos turned six on St Andrew’s Day and Walker will turn five this Saturday. Since Arktos’ arrival last year, the bears have been firm friends and can often be seen playing together, dunking each other in the pond or just dozing in the sun.

In news from the vet team, Simon Girling, Head of Veterinary Services for RZSS, presented two lectures to veterinary surgeons and nurses at one of Europe’s largest veterinary conferences, the London Vet Show, on 21st-22nd November. He spoke about advances in avian medicine, anaesthesia and diagnostic imaging for the busy GP vet. Simon also recently acted as chief examiner for the European School of Veterinary Practitioner Studies certificate in exotic animal practice, a postgraduate specialist qualification in zoo, wildlife and exotic pet medicine for veterinary surgeons.

SantaandReindeerFinally, if you are looking for something fun and a little wild to do with the kids during the run up to Christmas, the Highland Wildlife Park will be holding Santa’s Reindeer Walks each Saturday and Sunday of December at 11:30am and 2:30pm. The walks are a unique opportunity to get up close to these magnificent creatures and learn more about them. For more information on this event, please visit the Park’s What’s On page.

“If the Earth was an apartment, we wouldn’t be getting our security deposit back.”
– Jim Shubert


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