Site Specifics: Edinburgh Zoo

  • The List
  • 11 June 2009
Site Specifics: Edinburgh Zoo

What is it?
It’s a zoo. In Edinburgh. The name’s a bit of a giveaway, to be honest, but if you’d like some numbers: 82 acres of parkland (mostly on Costorphine Hill), housing well over 1000 animals and birds, and attracting more than 600,000 visitors a year.

What sort of animals?
Asiatic lions, bush dogs, chimpanzees, Diana monkeys, Eygptian tortoises, Fregate Island beetles, guinea pigs, hedgehogs, Indian rhinos, jaguars, king penguins, long-nosed potoroos, marabou storks, nyala, otters, a polar bear, Queensland koalas, royal pythons, skunks, tigers, vicugna, warthogs, yellow anacondas and zebra.

That all?
That’s not even scratching the surface, pal. We suggest checking out the chimpanzees at close range on the brilliantly designed, state-of-the-art Budongo Trail enclosure, the first part of a planned 20-year project to renovate the traditional enclosures into huge, habitat-specific ‘biomes’. The daily penguin parade has been a favourite for generations of Scottish schoolchildren, but these days you can also get your hair full of rainbow lorikeets, should you desire, at the interactive enclosure Rainbow Landings.

What’s new at the zoo?
Last month the Zoo welcomed back their wolf pack to the top of Costorphione Hill, after an absence of 16 years. They’ve also recently reintroduced their captive beavers to the wilds of Sctland – just a small example of the valuable conservation work your entrance fee is helping to support.

Isn’t Costorphine Hill kind of steep? How will I get up to the top?
Walk. It’ll do you good. Alternatively, you can hop on board the Hilltop Safari bus, which leaves regularly from behind the sealions.

How much does it cost?
£14 for adults, £12 concessions, £9.50 for children aged 3-15. Make a day trip of it to get your money’s worth – it’s open 9am-6pm during the summer months.

Costorphine Road, Edinburgh, www.edinburghzoo.org.uk. Take the number 12, 26 or 31 LRT buses from Haymarket Station.

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