Chief Executive’s Blog
November 28, 2014 § Leave a comment
I wanted to tell you about the progress of the new development in preparation for the arrival of a female polar bear at Highland Wildlife Park. The walkway, which was built by the military, has now been fenced and construction has begun on the visitor viewing platform. From here, you face the huge female enclosure and can clearly see the part of the enclosure which can be fenced off and used for introductions of male polar bears during the breeding season. Combined, the enclosure is four acres. Groundwork is currently being undertaken in the area and the fence posts have been placed.
The Northern lynx cubs at Highland Wildlife Park, who were born in May, are now about two thirds of the size of an adult lynx and have recently been named. As part of the lynx’s range covers Finland, keepers felt it was only appropriate that our new Finnish carnivore keeper got the honour of naming the twins. The male cub has been named Ruska, which means ‘autumn colours’ in Finnish, and the female has been named Lumi, which means ‘snow’.
Great news from Arnaud Desbiez, RZSS Latin America Coordinator, who is stationed out in Brazil. Photos of Alex the baby giant armadillo, which were taken as part of RZSS’ Giant Armadillo Project in the Brazillian Pantanal, have been selected for the BBC Wildlife Camera-trap Photos of the Year 2014 – one photo was commended in the Rare species category and another was runner up in the new Behaviour category. It is wonderful to see these photos featured in the magazine as it is a great way of sharing the wonder and passion we all feel for the giant armadillo.
Photos can be seen at: http://www.discoverwildlife.com/gallery/bbc-wildlife-camera-trap-photo-year-2014-winners
Recently, some of the discovery and learning team attended the 2014 SQA Star Awards in Glasgow and to our delight the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland received a highly commended for the Lifelong Learning Centre award – a recognition the team greatly deserved.
Edinburgh Zoo has been featured on the map of new mobile phone app called Habitat The Game (http://www.visitscotland.com/blog/scotland/habitat-the-game/) which has been created by VisitScotland. It has been designed with young animal lovers in mind and teaches about environmental sustainability in a fun and age appropriate way. Players are invited to visit the real-life locations on the map to unlock various rewards.
If you are planning on visiting Edinburgh Zoo, stop by Living Links where you’ll be able to spot four squirrel monkey babies testing out their balance and learning the ropes as they begin to venture from their mother’s backs. The enthusiastic babies will one day contribute to ground breaking research at the facility. In case you are not familiar with the field station and research centre, Living Links is a partnership between the University of St Andrews and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland which supports studies by scientists affiliated with the Scottish Primate Research Group.
You will also see that things are beginning to look festive at Edinburgh Zoo; two penguins made out of Christmas lights are standing outside the Zoo and a real Christmas tree has been decorated and placed in the front reception area.
Courage is the capacity to confront what can be imagined.