Chief Executive’s Blog

October 27, 2015 § Leave a comment


Winter is on its way, bringing with it the colder nights and blustery days, but both RZSS Edinburgh Zoo and RZSS Highland Wildlife Park are looking beautiful with all the rich autumnal colours in the trees and the orange leaves scattered over the grounds.

Our Creepy Crawlies event came to an end this Sunday (25 October). The event, which had been running in the Budongo Trail since 10 October, has been very successful, with visitors thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to get up close to – and in some cases handle! – a variety of crawling creatures. The exhibition had a prehistoric theme to tie in with our Dinosaurs Return! exhibition and featured an array of fascinating insects and animals such as crave crickets, giant snails, tarantulas and crabs.

Photo by Grant Bullocharch

Photo by Grant Bullocharch

Speaking of Dinosaurs Return!, this exciting exhibition is also nearing an end, with only one week to go until it closes for good on 1 November. The seven-month-long exhibit has been incredibly popular with visitors both young and old, attracting nearly half a million people through our doors since it opened in April. Dinosaurs Return! was also recently commended in the Scottish Event Awards 2015 for Best Cause Related/Charity event. We have received a lot of positive feedback about the incredibly life-like dinosaurs and it will be sad to see the giants at the top of Corstorphine hill go.

Earlier last week, on 19 October, we hosted a Cat Conservation Evening at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, highlighting RZSS’s cat conservation projects around the world alongside our special guest (and cat conservation supporter) Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull. The evening helped raise awareness of small cat conservation projects that RZSS is supporting in the wild, including Pallas’s cats, Arabian sand cats and Scotland’s very own wildcat. RZSS Cat Conservation Officer David Barclay delivered the main talk of the evening, sharing his experiences of cat conservation in the field, from protecting the wildcat in Scotland to searching for rare Pallas’s cats in the Himalayas, Mongolia and Iran. The event raised over £1,000 in donations on the night, all of which will go towards supporting our work with small cats across the globe.

Cat-Conservation-Event_2Elsewhere, in news from our Giant Armadillo Conservation Project, Arnaud Desbiez is currently out in the field in the Brazilian Pantanal with veterinarian Camilla Luba and Yamil de Branco, a giant anteater researcher from Argentina. Besides monitoring giant armadillos, the team also monitor and research giant anteaters. They are currently recapturing anteaters to replace their GPS collars, which will enable the team to follow and monitor them much more closely.

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

– Lao Tzu


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