Chief Executive’s Blog

March 14, 2014 § Leave a comment

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland is again taking part in the annual Edinburgh International Science Festival, one of largest science festivals in Europe. An event called Wild Medicine, the programme features an exhibit and practical demonstration of the different natural materials and behaviours that animals use to prevent infection and disease in the wild.

CapuchinMonkeyMade up of two parts, the first is an exhibition hosted at Central Library in Edinburgh from Saturday 12 to Tuesday 15 April (except Sunday). The event is free to attend. Wednesday 16 April will then see an interactive display at Living Links, Edinburgh Zoo. Free with Zoo entry, visitors can see wild medicine in action with the resident troops of brown capuchin and common squirrel monkeys, an intelligent, social and fun bunch of primates. Go along to both events, or just drop into one.

A great opportunity to learn about research carried out by St Andrews University at Edinburgh Zoo’s Living Links Research Centre, a world class research facility and an enjoyable exhibit for visitors to the Zoo, which was developed in a unique partnership between RZSS and the University of St Andrews. Please visit for further information.

Chibale and Chiku, two of Edinburgh Zoo’s geladas, celebrated their fifth birthdays with boiled potatoes this week; although likely not a particularly exciting treat for you or me, potatoes are actually one of the geladas favourite delicacies!

Male Chibale, was born to mum Aurora on 7 March 2009 and his half-sister Chiku was born three days later to mum Alice on 10March 2009. The pair are half-siblings, sharing the same father Malachi, the group’s dominant male. Both are approaching adulthood and Chibale in particular has taken to strutting around the outdoor enclosure when Malachi is not watching. In the wild this species is native to the highland region of Ethiopia, mainly in Semien Mountains National Park.

Further afield, Dr Helen Senn and Dr Rob Ogden, some of the Society’s conservation scientists, are attending a meeting in Sweden to discuss the use of advanced genetic technologies in conservation. Rob, our director of conservation, has been invited to give a talk on the work the WildGenes lab do on pygmy hippos, beavers and scimitar-horned oryx.

Photo by Donald Sinclair

Photo by Donald Sinclair

Finally, here are some photographs taken at our successful Fairtrade Event Go Bananas in Edinburgh Zoo’s chimpanzee house Budongo Trail that I blogged about last week.

Photo by Donald Sinclair

Photo by Donald Sinclair

Best wishes,



It appears to be a law that you cannot have a deep sympathy with both man and nature. 

~Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854


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