Quick disclaimer! - Yes, this is a Zoo. Yes, the animals are kept in enclosures. NO, they are not badly treat.
I regard animal life higher than a lot of human life most of the time and so would never support anywhere that had any hint of animal cruelty. I sign petitions, I promote causes close to my heart and I have done many fundraising events for animal causes/charities.I look into everywhere I visit beforehand and am well informed that Edinburgh Zoo is one of the worlds best for conservation and breeding.
It would be lovely if all animals could live in the wild but it isn't always that simple, especially because of certain cruel humans that live alongside us. The animals that live here are in great living quarters, well looked after and a lot of them are doing a great service for their species by participating in the research and breeding programs.
Please think twice before leaving nasty comments. I will never lie to anyone, let alone on my blog - what would be the point? All views are obviously my own but I take care to look into anything I support.
I'll leave you with a quick quote from Sir David Attenborough, about Edinburgh Zoo, "The Royal Zoological Society has shown not what zoos can be, but what they should be".
|Sir Nils Olav is the grey-est stud on the far left.|
|Taken by Jake on his iPhone|
As you can probably guess I took far too many photos and so this is the second post out of goodness knows how many! This time around I'm sharing some of the many different species of bird from all over the world, of which I obviously had great fun photographing - bird watching being one of my greatest hobbies.
To kick it off we'll begin with the 3 species of Penguin housed at the Zoo.
Edinburgh Zoo is currently home to a group of bachelor King Penguins, 70+ Gentoo Penguins and a small colony of the endangered Northren Rockhopper Penguins.
An interesting fact about the zoo and it's King Penguins is related to it's logo (see first photo), and the reason that one features there is that they were not only one of the very first species ever to be kept at Edinburgh Zoo, but in 1919 they were bred there - the first ever captive breeding of the King Penguin worldwide! They also happen to have a very special member of the group in the form of Sir Nils Olav, knighted in 2008, he was awarded an honorary colonel-in-chief of the Kings Guard in the Norwegian army!
Depending on the time of year that you visit you could find the 3 species all at the awesome Penguin Rock, with its fabulous underwater viewing window so you can watch them all having so much fun swimming, or in February/March time you will see that the Rickhoppers have been moved to a separate enclosure (this is to help simulate what would be their migration) at the bottom of the big cat walkway as it's their breeding season. We just so happened to be there on the day they were getting moved and seeing them explore their 'new' home was a lot of fun.
Onto the larger birds and birds of prey and some pretty impressive 'hair' dos.
A quick low down of the photos above:
Black Stork - The zoo is home to two male and one female Black Storks.The youngest male was found badly hurt in the wild and once rehabilitated was unfit for release into the wild, hence Edinburgh becoming his home.
East African Crowned Crane - There are three endangered East African crowned cranes, two males and one female at Edinburgh Zoo.
Eastern White Pelican
European Eagle Owl
Egyptian Vulture - The Egyptian Vultures are endangered in the wild. The two living here are both females and came from Bulgaria in 2011.
Finally, lets talk about 'Brilliant Birds'. This is a new(-ish) attraction...or to me at least as I haven't been since the 90s haha! Opening in 2011, Brilliant Birds is a walk through aviary, housing some completely stunning species of birds from all over the world.
I was completely in my element and could happily of sat on the bench in there all day. Unfortunately (as I like to reiterate to you so you know why my photos are so poor) I have an ever failing camera lately and it particularly struggles when put into a higher iso, so I didn't manage to get as many photos as I'd of liked.
Among the special feathered beauts were a critically endangered pair of Bali Starling, of which there were a mere less than 50 left in the wild. This is where I stand up for zoos and their breeding programmes as if these birds weren't in captivity it's likely they could of become completely extinct over the past few decades. (The white lady with the black tips on her wings and tail feathers and the blue part around her eye is one of the two sisters currently in the aviary.)
The others above in order are: the Java Sparrow, the Nicobar Pigeon (which is interestingly the closest living relative to the Dodo!!), the Chestnut-backed Thrush, the Bali Starling, the Lilac Breasted Roller (one of my favourites, but she was practically glued to the roof so I was a little gutted not to get a better photo of her) and the Victoria Crowned Pigeon.
How fed up of hearing about birds are you now? Have 10 UTW points if you actually read all of the above and you can leave me the name of your favorite one in the comments if you did ;P