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Animal Attractions at the Edinburgh Zoo


Planning to visit the Edinburg Zoo in Scotland? Formally known as the Scottish National Zoological Park, this 82 acre non-profit zoological park draws massive crowds each year, including both locals and tourists. According to Edinburg by Numbers, the zoo ranked #5 in the list of the most popular attractions in Edinburg in 2013, with 760,897 annual visitors. Situated at the Corstorphine Hill, this destination even offers extensive panoramic views of the city. Owned by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, this zoo was built in 1913 and has an average of 600,000 visitors annually. The zoo is also involved in several scientific pursuits, including captive breeding of several endangered species. The professionals spend time researching the animal’s behaviour, and are even active participants in conservation programs around the world. Moreover, this zoo was the first zoo in the world to accommodate a breed of penguins, and even koalas and giant pandas. This place has been given four stars by the Scottish Tourism Board and boasts the most diverse tree collection in the world.

Staying Close to the Zoo

If you are planning a holiday to the capital of Scotland, consider staying at a cheap hotel in Edinburgh that is centrally located. Central and cheap accommodation in Edinburgh will give you access to all the tourist attractions scattered across the city. You can easily travel via train, bus, taxi or tram all over the city at very reasonable costs. If you are going to visit the zoo, then consider staying at hotels near Edinburgh Zoo, such as Piries Hotel, which offers all the modern ensuite facilities at the most affordable prices. Here’s a look at the various animals and areas you should visit while staying here.

Bundongo Trail

This trail has been named after the Budongo Forest in Uganda and is a state-of-the-art facility that is home to a notorious troop of chimpanzees. The main building features a lecture theatre, interactive games, viewing galleries and displays that are designed to teach the public about chimpanzees and their general behaviour, lifestyle, threats and their social structure.

Penguin Rock

The first three penguins that were part of this area were the king penguins that arrived in January 1913. They were the first penguins ever to be seen outside the South Atlantic anywhere in the world. The current enclosure for penguins in this zoo is known as Penguin Rock and is 65 meters long and 3.5 metres deep. The deepest point contains 1.2 million litres of water and is home to a colony of king, gentoo and rockhopper penguins.

Giant Pandas

In 2011, there were two giant pandas, one a male and the other a female, who were leased by Edinburgh Zoo for a cost of $1 million a year from Bifengxia Breeding Centre in China. To build an enclosure for these animals, the zoo spent £285,000 and has to incur an additional cost of £70,000 a year to feed them. These Giant Pandas have been leased for 10 years, after which they will be returned to the Chinese. This zoo is currently the only one to house Giant Pandas in all of the UK.