By Cara Sulieman
BROADCASTER Sir David Attenborough has been recognised for his contribution to conservation by Edinburgh Zoo.
He was presented with the Centenary Medal by The Princess Royal at a ceremony on Tuesday night.
The head of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, David Windmill, said that the presenter had contributed to a “greater awareness” on animal conservation.
Nine others received Honorary Fellowships to the Society as part of the society’s 100 year anniversary.
Sir David has been presenting natural history programmes for more than 50 years, setting the benchmark with his 1979 series Life on Earth.
The 83-year-old is still making programmes, with a documentary about the origins of life due out this year.
On receiving his award, the respected broadcaster said: “The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland has shown not what zoos can be, but what they should be.
“Budongo is an extraordinary place where chimps can be themselves.
“I am more complimented and honored by this award than I can say.”
The Princess Royal has been the patron of the society since March 2009 and the year before she officially opened Budongo Trail, the chimpanzee enclosure where the ceremony was held.
David Windmill, Chief Executive of RZSS said: “As we celebrate RZSS’s 100-year anniversary it is only right that we recognise some key figures that have contributed so much to animal research, conservation and education.
“Sir David Attenborough has played a significant role and as one of the most well respected wildlife broadcasters in the world, he was a natural choice for this prestigious medal.
“His ground-breaking programmes with accessible and interesting insights have embraced audiences across the world.
“Thanks to him, animal documentaries have moved from hidden niche viewing to the mass market appeal all due to his expertise and enthusiasm.
“This has resulted in greater awareness and interest in animal conservation than ever before.”
The nine people awarded the Honorary Fellowships were Henry Elliot, Lady Margaret Elliot, Dr Miranda Stevenson, Mary Patterson, Keith Chalmers Watson, Prof Ian Aitken, Robert Allison, Dr Andrew Kitchener and Dick Balharry.