Popular enclosure in Edinburgh Zoo closes its doors

By Amanda MacMillan

EDINBURGH Zoo has been forced to close down its popular parrot display to save costs.

The £350,000 Rainbow Landings enclosure allowed visitors to hold and feed dozens of Rainbow Lorikeets.

But it closed its doors earlier this month and leaves 60 colourful parrots in need of a new home.

Staff revealed their fears that it could be just one of several cost cutting measures at the zoo as it prepares to make around 50  employees redundant. Continue reading

Edinburgh Zoo to axe 50 jobs as visitor numbers drop

By Christine Lavelle

ONE of Scotland’s biggest tourist attractions is facing a staffing crisis after visitor numbers dwindled this year.

Bosses at Edinburgh Zoo are looking to cut around a quarter of their 200 full-time staff – with 50 jobs now in danger.

Each year, the zoo attracts more than 636,000 paying visitors – second only to Edinburgh Castle – but a zoo spokeswoman said that figure is likely to be much lower for 2010, and that current staff numbers are “no longer sustainable.”

She said: “The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland is considering a proposed restructure of the organisation which is likely to result in a reduction of staff numbers during autumn 2010. Continue reading

Zoo clashes with local group over ‘Kidnapped’ beauty spot

By Martin Graham

A BEAUTY spot immortalised in Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel ‘Kidnapped’ is the subject of a furious row between Edinburgh Zoo and a local conservation group.

The area on Corstorphine Hill is known as the Rest and Be Thankful was featured in the climactic final passages of the novel when the two main characters Alan Breck and David Balfour bid each other farewell as they survey the view of the city and the castle.

The literary landmark is part of a proposed land exchange deal between the Zoo and City of Edinburgh Council.

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, which runs Edinburgh Zoo, claims that the original Rest and Be Thankful is further up the hill and they have offered to restore it in exchange for a chunk of land to the east of the zoo which includes the current site.

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Irvine Welsh hosts special screening for charity

By Amanda MacMillan

BEST-selling author Irvine Welsh is hosting a special screening of his famous first novel to help raise funds for a Scottish charity and to get people in the mood for his new book.

The showing of Trainspotting is taking place tonight (Wednesday) at the Dominion Cinema in Edinburgh in aid of charity Scottish Love in Action (SLA).

The audience will also have the opportunity to pose questions to the Edinburgh-born author as well as the chance to be named in his new book, Skagboys, the prequel to Trainspotting which will be released in April 2012.

All proceeds from the competition and screening will go to SLA.

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New lively additions to Edinburgh Zoo in successful breeding season

By Amanda MacMillan

SIX lively new additions have been welcomed at Edinburgh Zoo in what has been a record breeding season. 

The infant brown capuchin monkeys join a further 18 capuchin adults and juveniles in the Zoo’s Living Links Centre.

The youngest, born on 29 July, is just over a month old and was born to first-time mum Penelope.

The capuchins live with common squirrel monkeys in two mixed communities in the East and West sections of the Zoo’s Living Links Centre.

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Successful year for breeding flamingos at Edinburgh Zoo

By Amanda MacMillan

EDINBURGH Zoo has been causing a stir among visitors as it welcomes three new fluffy additions.

The pale grey Chilean flamingo chicks have hatched in what has been a great breeding season at the zoo.

This is the second consecutive year that successful breeding has taken place for the flamingos.

Nick Dowling, keeper on the Bird Section at Edinburgh Zoo, said that breeding has been encouraged by improvements to their enclosure.

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Group merger is monkey business at Edinburgh Zoo

By Martin Graham

TWO parties of chimps at Edinburgh Zoo have merged in a bid to discover who is the top banana in a new enclosure.

Edinburgh’s zookeepers have created a primate coalition after studying the chimpanzees’ complex political hierarchies for six months.

And with genes which are 98 per-cent the same as humans, the new chimp alliance has been negotiated nearly as carefully as the one in the House of Commons.

Not dissimilar to the Tory and Lib Dem government, keepers say the two parties living in the Budongo Trail enclosure appear to be settling in without too much in-fighting.

The 11 resident chimps at Edinburgh Zoo are joined by a new group of primates from Holland’s Beekse Bergen Safari Park.
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