Edinburgh Zoo
Edinburgh Zoo From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Coordinates: 55°56′35″N 3°16′5″W  /  55.94306°N 3.26806°W  / 55.94306; -3.26806 Edinburgh Zoo Date opened 1913 Location Edinburgh, Scotland Land area 82 acres (0.33 km 2) Coordinates 55°56′35″N 3°16′5″W  /  55.94306°N 3.26806°W  / 55.94306; -3.26806 Number of animals 1018 (2005) [1 ] Number of species 171 (2005) Major exhibits Penguins, Polar Bear, Koalas, Chimpanzees Website http://www.edinburghzoo.org.uk Edinburgh Zoo, formally the Scottish National Zoological Park, is a non-profit zoological park located in Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland. The mission statement of Edinburgh Zoo is "To excite and inspire our visitors with the wonder of living animals, and so to promote the conservation of threatened species and habitats". The land lies on the Corstorphine Hill, from which it provides extensive views of the city. Built in 1913, and owned by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, it receives over 600,000 visitors a year, which makes it Scotland's second most popular paid-for tourist attraction, after Edinburgh Castle. [2 ] As well as catering to tourists and locals, the Zoo is involved in many scientific pursuits, such as captive breeding of endangered animals, researching into animal behaviour, and active participation in various conservation programs around the world. [3 ] Edinburgh zoo is the only zoo in Britain to house koalas, [4 ] as well as being the first zoo in the world to house and to breed penguins. [5 ] The zoo is a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions. It has also been granted four stars by the Scottish Tourism Board. The zoo gardens boast one of the most diverse tree collections in the Lothians. [6 ] Contents
  • 1 History
  • 2 Current attractions
    • 2.1 Birds
    • 2.2 Other
    • 2.3 Military animals
  • 3 Future developments
  • 4 Research and conservation
  • 5 Zoo Gardens
  • 6 Opposition
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links
[ edit] History Main article: History of Edinburgh Zoo A female Jaguar The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) was founded as a registered charity in 1909 by an Edinburgh lawyer, Thomas Hailing Gillespie. The Corstorphine Hill site was purchased by the Society with help from the Edinburgh Town Council in early 1913. [7 ] Gillespie's vision of what a Zoological Park should be was modeled after the 'open design' of Tierpark Hagenbeck in Hamburg, a zoo which promoted a more spacious and natural environment for the animals, and stood in stark contrast to the steel cages typical of the menageries built during the Victorian era. [8 ] The Scottish National Zoological Park was opened to the public in the summer of 1913 and was incorporated by Royal Charter later that year. However, it was only in 1948, following a visit by HRH King George VI, that the Society was granted the privilege of adding the prefix 'Royal' to its name. It remains the only zoo with a Royal Charter in the United Kingdom. [9 ] Edinburgh Zoo's long association with penguins began in January 1914, with the arrival of three King Penguins from the Christian Salvesen whaling expedition which docked in Leith. The subsequent successful hatching of a King Penguin chick in 1919 was the first penguin to be hatched in captivity. These were the first penguins to be seen outside of the South Atlantic anywhere in the world. The now famous daily penguin parade started by accident in 1950 with the escape of several birds. This proved so popular with visitors and the penguins that it is a daily feature of the zoo today. [9 ] In 1986, the Society acquired the Highland Wildlife Park at Kingussie, 30 miles (48 km) south of Inverness. The Zoo and the Park work together in providing the most appropriate captive habitat possible in Scotland. Public visitation trips between both sites are organised frequently by the RZSS. [10 ] The Zoo still retains the original charter, which drives its active breeding program, and biodiversity, conservation and sustainability initiatives. The RZSS provides multiple ways for the public to help support its mission, including a membership club, animal adoption, donations, legacies and volunteering. [11 ] [ edit] Current attractions See also: List of animals at Edinburgh Zoo As of 2007, Edinburgh Zoo has about 1,000 animals on its 82 acres (330,000 m 2) of parkland [12 ] which are predominated by mammal and bird species although several reptile and amphibian exhibits can be found indoors in the revamped Discovery Centre. Mercedes, a female Polar Bear The Zoo currently exhibits Britain's only Koalas, formerly two males named Chumbee and Jannali of San Diego Zoo, now Goonaroo (wood duck) of Duisberg Zoo, Germany and Yabbra (fugitive) of Lisbon, Portugal, [4 ] [13 ] . Other high profile mammals are two male Indian Rhinoceroses (Fanindra and Babuu), [14 ] a pair of jaguars (Mowgli and Tina), [15 ] and Asiatic Lions (Royal, Gita and Kamlesh). [16 ] A pair of Sumatran tigers, a brother sister pair have arrived from Heidelberg zoo in Germany, they are in six month quarantine at the moment in the current jaguar enclosure, and the jaguars are now on display in the former tiger enclosure, some time in the future one of the tigers will be moved to another collection and an unrelated tiger brought in for breeding. The main bulk of mammals on show are African Hunting Dogs, Bush Dogs, Maned Wolf, Wolverines, Ratels, European Sousliks, Pallas Cats, Temminck's Golden Cat, Margays, Oriental Small-Clawed Otters, Patagonian Sea Lions, Giant Anteater, Zebra, Vicunas, bongo, Thorold's Deer, Siberian Musk Deer, Lesser Kudu, Goral, Hog Deer, Bawean Deer, Nyalas, Kirk's Dik-diks, Capybaras, Malayan Tapirs, Pygmy Hippos, Red River Hogs, Visayan Warty Pigs, Warthogs, Aye Aye, Titi Monkeys, Purple-Faced Langurs, Drills, Gelada Baboons, Red Ruffed Lemurs, Ring-Tailed Lemurs, Swamp Wallabys, North American Porcupines, reindeer, Heck's cattle and a large group of Common Chimpanzees. Mercedes the polar bear has now left the zoo for a new 4 acre enclosure at the Highland wildlife park. [ edit] Birds A Rainbow Lorikeet in Rainbow Landings A Stanley Crane at Edinburgh Zoo The Zoo is particularly famed for its large collection of penguins, including King Penguins, Gentoo Penguins and Rockhopper Penguins. The port of Leith provided passage for the first three king penguins via the Christian Salvesen whaling expedition of January 1914, and among the current King Penguins is Colonel-in-Chief Sir Nils Olav II. A popular daily event is the Penguin Parade, whereby many penguins are let out of their enclosure, and waddle round the penguin plaza after their keepers through a gathered crowd of observing public visitors. Other birds include flamingos, cassowarys, Steller's Sea Eagles, Black Storks, crane, Darwin's Rhea, Raven, owls, hammerkops, Thick-Billed Parrots, lady Ross's touraco and Victoria Crowned Pigeons. December 2007 marked the completion and opening of Rainbow Landings, a walk-through aviary for Rainbow Lorikeets. [17 ] The active birds fly in and amongst the public visitors, and eagerly land on visitors hands and arms to feed on nectar from small pots available for birds. [ edit] Other A conservation message in the form of a decapitated tiger. The 'trophy' was donated to the zoo after the death of its owner Other animals that can be found indoors include Pythons, Corn Snakes, Indian Star Tortoises, mice, rats, guinea pigs, a Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo, Axolotls, tarantulas, a White's Tree Frog, Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches and Giant African Land Snails. Many of these are available for public animal handling sessions, known as Close Encounters, held daily at noon in the Discovery Centre. Touch Tables are operated throughout the Zoo, allowing visitors to see and feel animal artefacts up-close. Most of these artefacts are rare and exotic, including such items as tiger skulls, elephant skin, turtle shell and rhino horn. Also on-grounds is the Mansion House, formerly Corstorphine Hill House, an old estate house with over two hundred years of history within its walls, and features a public restaurant, members only coffee shop and is available for private formal bookings. A statue of Nils Olav [ edit] Military animals Several of the zoo's animals have held military rank.
  • Wojtek was a bear adopted in Iran by the Polish II Corps and enlisted into the 22nd Artillery Supply Company to allow him to travel when the troops were posted. He served in the Middle East and during the Battle of Monte Cassino and retired to Edinburgh Zoo when the Polish troops, billeted in Scotland, demobilised. [18 ]
  • Sir Nils Olav, a King Penguin, was the mascot and Colonel-in-Chief of the Norwegian King's Guard. He was adopted in 1972 when the King's Guard were in the city for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, given the rank of visekorporal (lance corporal), and promoted each time the corps visited the city. He died in 1987 and his successor, Nils Olav II, inherited his rank. [19 ] Nils was visited by the Norwegian King's Guard on 15 August 2008 and awarded a knighthood. The honour was approved by the King of Norway, King Harald V. During the ceremony a crowd of several hundred people joined the 130 guardsmen at the zoo to hear a citation from King Harald the Fifth of Norway read out, which described Nils as a penguin "in every way qualified to receive the honour and dignity of knighthood". [20 ]
[ edit] Future developments Main article: Future developments at Edinburgh Zoo The Zoo has an ambitious plan for the next 10–20 years, with an estimated GBP 58 million being required for expansion and development. The Masterplan will see the site divided into four biomes: [2 ]
  • Grasslands - North Asian, African and South American grasslands and savannah and open plains habitats. Also planned are a recreation of a Nepalese village, African waterhole and a walk-through safari; rhinos, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, ostrich, antelope and hornbills will be featured.
  • Woodlands - Asian, South American, Far East and Australian woodlands and mixed mountainous forest habitats. Planned exhibits will feature elephants, [21 ] lions, bears, wolves, tigers, birds of prey, kangaroos, wallabies and wombats.
  • Oceans and Wetlands - Arctic, Antarctic, North and South America, Pacific aquatic, tropical wetland and South Atlantic coast habitats. Animals planned for this biome include polar bears, penguins, sea lions, sea otters, manatees, flamingos and capybara.
  • Tropical rainforest - South American, Asiatic, African rainforest and swamp forest habitats. Animals featured will be tapirs, jaguars, orangutans, gibbons, pygmy hippos, gorillas, bongo and chimpanzees.
In May 2008, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland announced their intention to bring a breeding pair of Giant Pandas to Edinburgh Zoo. During a visit to China the Chief Executive and the Head of Animals, Education and Conservation for RZSS, met with Chinese Government officials and signed a Letter of Intent outlining a serious commitment to bringing giant pandas to Scotland in time for the centenary of the Royal Zoological Society of Edinburgh in 2009. [22 ] In May 2009 Wolves were brought back to the zoo after being absent for over a decade. In autumn 2009 the Zoo plans to relocate Mercedes the Polar Bear to the Highland Wildlife Park where they are building the largest Polar Bear enclosure in Europe to house her at a cost of £300,000. In early July 2009 the zoo announced the birth of a rare and endangered pygmy hippo, a girl named Leishan, that is now on show with its mother, Ellen and father, Otto in the zoo's collection. [ edit] Research and conservation Two King Penguins by the pool Edinburgh Zoo is the national centre for primate behavioural research. [23 ] Budongo Trail, a state-of-the-art chimpanzee enclosure, was opened in May 2008 by HRH The Princess Royal. Budongo Trail is a naturalistic enclosure which can house up to 40 chimps. It includes a large outdoor area and three separate indoor areas for the chimps together with observation areas and a lecture theatre for the public. The RZSS is the principal sponsor in the long term study and conservation of a group of approximately 60 chimpanzees as part of the Budongo Conservation Field Station in Uganda, Africa. [24 ] Amidst the opening of Budongo Trail, Jane Goodall described it as a "wonderful facility" where primates "are probably better off [than] living in the wild in an area like Budongo [Forest], where one in six gets caught in a wire snare, and countries like Congo, where chimpanzees, monkeys and gorillas are shot for food commercially." [25 ] In addition to Budongo Trail, the Zoo is home to Living Links, a field station and research centre for the study of primates. The centre has been developed in a unique partnership with the RZSS and the University of St Andrews. Living Links houses capuchin monkeys and squirrel monkeys originating from the forests of South America, and offers researchers unique opportunities to study primate behaviour. [26 ] Gentoo Penguins - adults and chicks In July 2006, a cull of invasive brown rats on the Scottish island of Canna was deemed a provisional success [27 ] and after two years of observation, during which time no rats were observed, the island was declared officially rat free by the Environment Minister, Mike Russell on 7 June 2008. [28 ] The rats had been outcompeting the rare local wood mouse, known as the Canna mouse and also endangering local sea bird populations. The National Trust for Scotland which own the island invested £500,000 employing exterminators from New Zealand to cull the estimated 10,000 brown rats. in co-operation with RZSS, approximately 150 Canna Mice were captured and homed at Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park. 40 mice were returned to the island in late 2006 with the remaining being re-introduced in stages. [29 ] In May 2008, a joint application submitted by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) and the Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT) was approved by the Scottish Government allowing for a trial reintroduction of the European beaver to the Knapdale Forest in Mid- Argyll. If the trial is successful then the European beaver will be the first mammal to be reintroduced to the United Kingdom. Beavers have been extinct in Scotland since the 16th century, when they were hunted for their pelt, meat and medicinal properties. [30 ] [ edit] Zoo Gardens Before being acquired by the society, the Corstorphine hill site was a nursery, once owned by Thomas Blaikie, who planted many of the great French parks such as ‘La Bagatelle’. It was on this site that two nurserymen raised the famous apple cultivars ‘John Downie’ and ‘James Grieve’. Today, the Zoo boasts one of the most diverse tree collections in the Lothians with some 120 species. The unique south facing aspect allows bananas to be grown outside. Increasingly, Zoo horticulture is seen as a discipline in its own right, with the focus on habitat creation within enclosures, food stuffs for the animals, and enrichment for both the animals and the visiting public. [6 ] [ edit] Opposition Organisations that remain critical of the Zoo's work include the Animal Liberation Front, particularly in the context of the polar bear enclosure; [31 ] and the Born Free Foundation, who state that the Zoo is both failing in its conservation work [32 ] and mistaken in planning to house elephants in the future. [21 ] [ edit]

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