This week, we are thrilled to share our most recent adventure- our return to Edinburgh Zoo! The Zoo has been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but recently reopened on the 29th of June. We were fortunate to visit a few days later and would like to share some fun and important tips for when you visit.
First off, I would like to point out that this article is a quick update on the reopening of the Zoo. For those of you who haven’t read it yet, you might want to first read our previous article on Edinburgh Zoo. After that, head back to this article and the information we share.
After staying at home and in our immediate neighbourhood for over three months, I can’t properly express just how excited we were when we found out Edinburgh Zoo was reopening. We are members of the Zoo (more on that later) so we like to visit often. While we understand it had to be closed for the safety of everyone, it was still hard for us to not be able to visit our animal friends. So, with that clear enthusiasm in mind, let’s dive right into the news.
‘Paws for Thought’
As the world starts to slowly navigate travel once again, it is important to remember to travel responsibly. We highly recommend a visit to Edinburgh Zoo where you can enjoy large, outdoor spaces while visiting some of your favourite animal friends. As the Zoo so adorably states, let’s make sure to ‘paws for thought’ so that you can protect yourself, others, and the animals. Therefore, when you go to Edinburgh Zoo, be sure to socially distance (the current guideline as of the writing of this is article is 2m or 6ft) from others outside of your group, wash your hands regularly, and follow their one-way systems.
As you can see in the picture below, Edinburgh Zoo has created walking paths that are mostly one-way with a few two-way sections. This is to help ensure that visitors can follow the current 2m guideline and be safer. Also, please be aware that following government advice, some areas may be closed for your safety. You will find the most up-to-date information on the day you visit the Zoo.
Two particularly adorable new additions to Edinburgh Zoo are the rockhopper chicks. We were able to see them in their pen which is where they stay with their mother for the first few months. This helps them learn to socialise in a safer environment until they are big enough to join their other penguin friends at Penguin Rocks.
The Pandas’ New Home
As we mentioned in our previous article on the Zoo, the panda habitat wasn’t open yet. However, it is now open and such a large, spectacular space for Yang Guang and Tian Tian. I have visited their new area since our last article, but I’m thrilled to finally be able to share the updates with all of you.
On this visit, Tian Tian had just finished a snack or maybe brunch? It’s hard to distinguish because they literally eat throughout the day! Anyway, she was hanging out by the door that leads outside contemplating her next move.
Over in the other enclosure building, Yang Guang was clearly in a bit of a ‘food coma’. This was evidenced by the way he was resting among his piles of bamboo. Don’t worry pal, I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all been there before. 😂 I’ve also seen our Golden Retriever tour guide, Sawyer, do that same exact pose on a few different post-meal occasions. So, there’s certainly a relatability factor to Yang Guang’s mood.
L’Hoest’s Monkey Baby
According to Edinburgh Zoo, a L’Hoest’s monkey was born in May and was recently caught on camera. They haven’t named the baby yet but hope to do so in the coming weeks. You can head over to their Zoo webpage for more information.
During our recent day at the Zoo, we spotted this wee L’Hoest’s monkey. It obviously wasn’t the mom, Sheli, as the baby has been clinging to her and doesn’t leave her side. Regardless, this monkey was quite curious to check us out and seemed happy to see visitors again.
The Giraffes are Coming!
Some extremely exciting news is that there is an effort to bring giraffes to Edinburgh Zoo! In fact, we could see the construction currently underway to build a habitat and Giraffe house. However, they are still looking for people to help donate to make this a reality. Check out their webpage for more information on their plans and why this conservation work is so crucial to help these majestic animals.
Fun at Edinburgh Zoo
Support Edinburgh Zoo
With travel restrictions still in place for many people around the world, we understand that you might not be able to make it to Edinburgh Zoo for quite a while. Fortunately, they have webcams of the different animals (the most recent addition being the lion webcam) to help you watch the animals from afar. If you enjoy the webcams, consider supporting the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland- the charity that runs Edinburgh Zoo (we will do a future post on the important research that RZSS does at the Zoo and around the world) through a donation on their Just Giving Campaign.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, Edinburgh Zoo had to borrow £5 million to keep the animals fed and everything running as there was no income from visitors during the lockdown. They highlight how they are still at risk as the pandemic has cut off ‘90% of the funds’ needed by their dedicated keepers and vets to care for thousands of animals. Additionally, even though they are now open, the number of visitors is greatly reduced.
There are a variety of ways you can support Edinburgh Zoo. For example, earlier I mentioned that we have annual memberships. This is a great feature for anyone who will be coming to Edinburgh a few times a year. You can also go to their Survival Fund webpage and donate directly. We thank you for your consideration and any help you can provide the animals and the work RZSS and Edinburgh are doing!
I hope you have enjoyed our brief adventure and glorious return to Edinburgh Zoo. We are quite passionate about animal conservation and the work they do. Therefore, please be on the lookout for more articles on the specific animals/locations and the crucial work they are doing (we’ve got our eye on Budongo Trail and our chimpanzee friends as soon as it is safe for their building to reopen!).
After you enjoy your day at Edinburgh Zoo, be sure to head back into the city centre. That way you can join Sami and Sawyer- our Golden Retriever tour guide (who also happens to think he’s a lion) for an Edinburgh walking tour. We're following government & industry guidelines and received our 'We're Good to Go' certificate that is done in partnership through VisitScotland (Scotland’s National Tourist Board). Our walking tours are completely outside. Therefore, you can enjoy hearing fascinating tales, myths, and legends of Edinburgh while walking among the magnificent open spaces of our capital city.
Until next time- Explore & Discover!