Corstorphine Road, Edinburgh EH12 6TS
Edinburgh Zoo is among the best visitor attractions in the city. It attracts over 650,000 visitors each year and is the most popular private visitor attraction in Scotland. It is also one of Europe’s leading centres of animal conservation and is home to Living Links, an ape research project run by St Andrews University. The arrival in December 2011 of giant pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang (or Sunshine and Sweetie) are set to send visitor numbers rocketing.
Located a few miles to the west of the city centre, between Corstorphine and Murrayfield and close by the Holiday Inn, the Zoo is a registered charity owned by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland.
Home to over 1,000 animals (around 127 types), the Zoo's mission is "to inspire and excite our visitors with the wonder of living animals, and so to promote the conservation of threatened species and habitats." This dedication to providing a quality educational experience for its many visitors, with the emphasis on conserving the living heritage, has seen the Zoo recently awarded the prestigious Sanford Award.
The Zoo is built on around 80 acres of parkland at Corstorphine Hill. If they wish, visitors can get a free ride to the top of the hill. There they can alight to walk back down or stay aboard for the round trip. Some of the best panoramas of the city can be obtained from here.
One of the most popular attractions in the Zoo are the penguins. Many people might be surprised to learn that a king penguin at the Zoo by the name of Nils Olav has been the mascot of and honorary colonel in chief of the Royal Norwegian Guard since 1972. On 15 August 2008 he also received an regimental knighthood, sanctioned by King Harald V of Norway, thus making him Sir Nils!
Chimp in the Budongo Trail
The Budongo Trail, the largest chimpanzee enclosure in the world, opened at Edinburgh Zoo in May 2008. The £5.65m state-of-the-art building, the first part of a major £77.8m master plan at Edinburgh Zoo to create enclosures that simulate the animals’ natural environment, has three living ‘pods’ of varying humidity, light and temperature as well as the world's largest climbing frame for apes.
Closely linked to a research programme in the Budongo Forest in Uganda, the Budongo Trail will give visitors the fully integrated story from the chimpanzees’ natural habitat and behaviour to science and conservation through fun, interactive exhibits, in addition to incredible up close views of the chimpanzees.
Entrance to Zoo
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