Tuesday, July 5, 2022
1Edinburgh Zoo celebrates 100 years

Edinburgh Zoo celebrates 100 years

Lemurs tuck into their birthday cake
Lemurs tuck into their birthday cake

By Cara Sulieman

THESE lovely lemurs were given an extra cool breakfast special to tuck into when they were served with a birthday cake made of yoghurt smeared ice at Edinburgh Zoo yesterday.

The cute creatures lapped up the tasty treat as a part of the centenary celebrations behind held at the city Zoo.

Yesterday was the hundredth anniversary of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland who owns both the zoo and Highland Wildlife Park.

Yoghurt-covered ice

And the lucky lemurs tucked into a yoghurt-covered block of ice that contained a variety of berries and other fruit to mark the occasion.

Thomas Gillespie, an Edinburgh lawyer, set up the charity in 1909 with the aim of opening a zoo for the people of Scotland.

Although it took another four years, he finally got his wish and the society grew from there.

Humble penguin

It was the humble penguin that propelled the zoo into the international spotlight.

When three king penguins were brought back from a Christian Salveson exhibition to the South Atlantic in 1914 it was the first time the bird had been seen outside their natural habitat.

And when a chick hatched in 1919 the zoo gained international renown.

Chimp tea parties

There have been a lot of changes in the past hundred years.

The zoo has gone from hosting chimp tea parties and elephant rides to housing the animals in enclosures that reflect their natural habitat.

It is also an important supporter of conservation projects around the world including breeding programmes for endangered species and funding chimpanzees in Uganda.

John Spence, President of the society, said: “RZSS may be 100 years old but it could not have more dynamism, vitality and engagement with the public. It is a privilege for me to be associated with such an extraordinary organisation.”

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