RZSS Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

About RZSS Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo is owned by The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS). The Society was founded in March 1909, and the Zoo opened in July 1913.

Set in 82 acres of sloping parkland, the Zoo is situated three miles to the west of Edinburgh city centre.

The zoo’s mission is: ‘Connecting people with nature. Safeguarding species from extinction.’

Edinburgh Zoo is one of Europe’s leading centres of conservation, education and research. The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland works collectively with many other zoos and conservation agencies in the UK, Europe and around the world in co-ordinated conservation programmes, to help ensure the survival of many threatened animal species. They support various conservation projects in the wild through funding and expertise.

Edinburgh Zoo’s extensive education programme aims to raise awareness and understanding of the fragility of life on this planet, and our responsibility to help care for it.

The Zoo is also one of Scotland’s most popular visitor attractions, with over 800,000 visitors a year. Apart from getting close to over 1.000 rare and endangered animals, there are many different ways to enjoy your day out. You can experience a busy programme of educational events and activities – ranging from keeper talks through to hands-on animal encounters – and a wide-range of eating experiences, several play areas and a fantastic gift shop.

Official website: www.edinburghzoo.org.uk

Giant pandas at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo

RZSS and the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA) entered into an agreement in 2011 to undertake specific projects in areas of mutual benefit in the fields of giant panda conservation, education and research. As part of the agreement, two giant pandas (Tian Tian and Yang Guang) arrived at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo on 4 December 2011.

This  was  the  result  of  five  years  of  talks  between  Scotland,  China  and  a  team  of  people  from  RZSS  and  was  witnessed  by  the  UK’s  Deputy  Prime  Minister  Nick  Clegg  and  China’s  former  Vice  Premier,  later Premier,  Li  Keqiang.

As a condition of the main agreement between CWCA and RZSS, a second and subsequently a third agreement were signed with the China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP). Five thematic areas of research were outlined, alongside a mechanism through which CCRCGP and RZSS would deliver the research (both in China and Scotland). These are:

  1. Field ecology
  2. Genetic management
  3. Breeding and infant care
  4. Veterinary management and research
  5. Cognitive evolution and behavioural research

RZSS facilitated 40 giant panda-related research projects worldwide, through funding, part-funding and collaborations, and our experts are currently working with nine universities in the UK. All this research stems from the Giant Panda Symposium, held in Edinburgh in 2013, when RZSS gathered over 60 experts from around the world to develop a five-year research plan for giant pandas.

RZSSEdinburgh Zoo was the home to the UK’s only giant pandas from 2011 until 2023.


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