Chief Executive’s Blog

September 12, 2014 § Leave a comment


Simon Girling, Head of Veterinary Services at RZSS, recently gave a presentation at the annual European Wildlife Disease Association conference here in Edinburgh. We were delighted Simon was asked to speak. Simon spoke to the audience about veterinary health screening checks he carried out on water voles as part of a captive breeding programme. The Water Vole Species Survival Plan is an overarching UK reintroduction programme, and as part of this RZSS has ensured captive water vole populations are viable for release and will not pose a threat to native wildlife, further developing scientific knowledge on water vole health and welfare. If you would like to find out more, please visit

Budongo by Florian Moellers

Budongo by Florian Moellers

I often write about the work of the Budongo Conservation Field Station (BCFS) and we are extremely pleased to offer RZSS supporters the chance to go on a “No Limits” safari to BCFS in the heart of Uganda. It is an amazing opportunity to witness first-hand the incredible work carried out by staff and discover part of Africa few others are able to experience. Keen travellers will be able to accompany field station assistants as they monitor the wildlife in the forest, including chimpanzees, and help with the local community projects RZSS is involved in. Any surplus income generated after costs are covered will go towards RZSS’ vital work in Budongo.

In partnership with Aardvark Safaris, other activities of the ten day trip include gorilla tracking through the Bwindi forest, a tour through the Queen Elizabeth National Park which is home to tree-climbing lions and a host of other magnificent creatures.

Edinburgh Zoo will host a free information evening on Thursday 2 October with Praven Moman, a Ugandan born pioneer of great ape eco-tourism, and Dr Fred Baweteera, Director of the Budongo Conservation Field Station.  Tickets for this talk are free with drinks and canapés served, but space is limited so please RSVP to

Finally, if you are up at the Highland Wildlife Park, I recommend going to see the northern lynx twins, who at just over three months, can be spotted exploring their enclosure. They have also started to practice their pouncing at feeding time; great natural behaviour that is fantastic to observe.

Northern lynx cub by Alex Riddell

Northern lynx cub by Alex Riddell

I am also off on a few family travels of my own, so shall be back in a few weeks; until then enjoy the amazing wildlife at Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park as we enter the autumn months.

“Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn”

Elizabeth Lawrence


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