Formerly known as the Scottish National Zoological Park, Edinburgh Zoo is a non-profit zoological park in situated the Scottish capital, Edinburgh. Constructed in 1931 and owned by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, Edinburgh zoo receives over 600,000 visitors annually recognizing it as the second most popular paid-for tourist destination in Scotland next to Edinburgh Castle.
Catering to both tourists and visitors Edinburgh Zoo is involved in several global conservation programs including breeding of endangered species, and research into animal behavior.
Edinburgh Zoo mission statement is, “To excite and inspire our visitors with the wonder of living animals, and so to promote the conservation of threatened species and habitats”.
Awarded a four star rating by the Scottish Tourism Board Edinburgh Zoo is the first zoo worldwide to breed and house penguins Edinburgh Zoo as well as the only zoo in the United Kingdom to house giant pandas and koalas.
Interesting Facts About Edinburgh Zoo
• In 1909 an Edinburgh lawyer by the name of Thomas Hailing Gillespie formed the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland. In 1913 the Society with the help of the Edinburgh Town Council purchased the Corstorphine Hill site later used for the Scottish National Zoological Park which opened to the public that year.
• Recognized as the only zoo in the United Kingdom with a Royal Charter, the prefix, “Royal” was only added to the zoo’s name following the visit by King George VI in 1948.
• In 1914 with the arrival of three king penguins from the Christian Salvesen whaling expedition, Edinburgh Zoo began its long association with penguins. In 1919 the zoo witnessed the birth of the first king penguin chick to be hatched in captivity and the first penguins to be viewed outside the South Atlantic. In 1950 the zoo began the now popular penguin parade following the accidental escape of several birds.
• In 1956 Gilbert D. Fisher was named the zoo’s director-secretary following the retirement of Tom Gillespie. Fisher retained the post until he retired in 1971.
• In 1986, the Society purchased the Highland Wildlife Park at Kingussie located 48 km south of Inverness. Together, the zoo and park provide the best captive habitat in Scotland. Visits in-between locations are generally organized by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland.
• In 2008 Edinburgh Zoo opened a state-of-the-art chimpanzee enclosure known as the Budongo Trail. The area which serves as the primary center for primate behavioral research can house up to 40 chimps and features a large outdoor area along with three separate indoor areas together with a public lecture theatre and observation rooms.
• Edinburgh Zoo is also home to an outdoor station and research center known as Living Links. The center which was jointly developed with the University of St. Andrews houses a collection of capuchin and squirrel monkeys native to the South American forest.
• In 2008 the Government approved a joint request made by the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland to reintroduce the European beaver to the Knapdale Forest in Mid-Argyll.
• Edinburgh Zoo today has one of the most diverse collection of trees in the Lothians consisting of over 120 species.
• In 2011, the zoo closed its monkey house after a baboon vaulted the electric fence while trying to escape.
• In May 2012, several visitors were forced to seek shelter in the monkey house following the escape of a family of hogs.
• In 2012 a scarlet ibis escaped the zoo and ended up in the city. The animal was captured a week later four miles from the zoo.
• In 2012 visitors were hurried indoors following the escape of a 600 kg Heck bull. The animal which was on the loose for over 40 minutes was later captured and returned to its enclosure using tranquilizer darts.
• Edinburgh Zoo is primarily served by way of Lothian Bus routes 12, 26, 31 and 100 traveling between the Edinburgh city center and the Haymarket railway station.
Edinburgh Live Zoo Cams
Giant Pandas Web Cam
In 2011 two giant pandas were leased by the zoo from the Chinese Bifengxia Breeding Centre in China at a cost of $1m annually. Edinburgh Zoo is to date the only zoo in the United Kingdom that houses giant pandas.
View Edinburgh zoo cam of Giant Pandas Webcam.
Penguins Rock Web Cam
Edinburgh Zoo is renown for its penguin collection first to be seen outside of the South Atlantic. Click on the link below and visit the zoo’s colonies of gentoo, king and rockhopper penguins at Penguins Rock, the zoo’s penguin pool.
View Penguin Webcam.
Living Links Web Cam
Living Links is an area constructed around an outdoor station and research centre used for the studying of primate behavior. The exhibit also features an area used for the housing brown capuchin monkeys and common squirrel monkeys.
View monkey webcams.
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