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Edinburgh Zoo

(30 Posts)
TinfoilHattie Thu 13-Apr-17 16:28:12

Took the kids to the zoo yesterday and have really mixed feelings about it. Edinburgh Zoo was such a big part of my childhood, i think I went on school trips there annually during the Primary years and at least once a year after that.

It's changed SO much. I appreciate that back in the day some of the animals were being kept in less than ideal conditions, and I know that it's better for the animals to have larger enclosures. Polar bears and elephants never looked happy at Edinburgh Zoo.

But still, there were no giraffes, big cats other than lions and tigers, no wolves, no Reptile House, no sea lions, no apes other than chimps, the bird house was closed because of avian flu, no kangaroos, no bears (except two small sun bears), none of the big gazelle things.

Just a bit sad that it's changed so much and I really don't think it's value for money any more.

OOAOML Thu 13-Apr-17 16:32:01

I haven't been for a while, but it was pretty 'in need of care' last time. I know they got rid of a lot of animals a few years ago. It is so expensive and I imagine only worth it if you get annual entrance and have lots of time to go.

I remember going when I was young and I was soooooo excited (partly because it was a trip to Edinburgh as well).

I wonder what they will do when they no longer have the pandas?

ooerrmissus Thu 13-Apr-17 16:50:37

I was there on Monday and there were definitely Kangaroos!

Agree that there is a balance to be struck though. The last time I was there, about 5 years ago, I felt the enclosures were disturbingly small. There was a panther in particular that was clearly distressed. The new enclosures are much better for the animals.

TinfoilHattie Thu 13-Apr-17 16:56:56

We saw wee wallabies - not big kangaroos.

StewieGMum Thu 13-Apr-17 17:03:11

The animals were distressed and ill. They have been rehomed into places that are better for them and to participate in European breeding programs for endangered animals.

The polar bear was basically mentally ill living at the zoo. The enclosure is big enough for the Sun bears but not a polar bear. This is the same for big cats - many of whom exhibited signs of extreme distress. Do you seriously want your children to see animals who are ill because of small enclosures rather than animals who are healthy?

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 13-Apr-17 17:09:37

YABU. The only possible justification for zoos to exist is conservation of endangered species, not showcasing iconic (but common) animals by keeping them in captivity which is generally going to be vastly inferior to living wild.

Fabellini Thu 13-Apr-17 17:13:21

But the meerkats are fabulous!

TinfoilHattie Thu 13-Apr-17 17:13:29

I said I understood that conditions were not good for many of the animals. Doesn't explain though why there's no reptile house and very few other animals - although it's fab if you like meerkats.

Penguins and pandas are worth seeing.

It would make more sense if Edinburgh Zoo wants to keep going to buy some massive parcel of land somewhere between Edinburgh and Glasgow, or in East Lothian or Fife where they can create a proper 21st century zoo. They'd make millions selling their current site. At the moment they're sticking to the Corstorphine site which is so hilly and inaccessible to many, and pruning down their collectionto almost nothing.

ooerrmissus Thu 13-Apr-17 17:40:53

Agree they'd be better off moving to Falkirk or somewhere with more space. That site must be worth what, £4m?

The kangaroos are next to the wallabies. But there's only two of them so easy to miss.

Willow2017 Thu 13-Apr-17 19:26:34

They still have loads of animals though. The wild dogs are beautiful and the bonoboi trail is great for watching the monkeys plus really informative and fun for kids.
There are plenty animals to see in enclosures appropriate to their needs instead of animals in too small enclosures making them unhappy.

Yes it would be great if they could update the whole thing but that takes years of planning and money I don't know if it would cost more than tge actually take in while it was being done.

Sixp Thu 13-Apr-17 19:40:58

We used to be members and took the children regularly but it got to the point that I just couldn't bear to see the size of the animal enclosures etc. I am very glad they no longer have a polar bear or elephants or giraffes. I find it particularly upsetting to see large migratory intelligent mammals in captivity. Recently we visited Five Sisters Sanctuary just outside Edinburgh and I would support this place. The animals are all rescue animals. The bears and lions in particular were rescued after a long process from a lives of horror and they have a lot more room than they would have elsewhere. It is also a non-profit organisation.

cdtaylornats Thu 13-Apr-17 21:15:38

Corstorphine is good because the locals know what to do when one of the wolves turns up in their back garden.

MoreProseccoNow Thu 13-Apr-17 23:22:07

I live near the zoo, but haven't been for about 3 years; it's so expensive. I looked in to it this week & for me &'2 DC to go it was going to be about £35 - way too much for a day trip.

I've been to 5 sisters too, it's much better from an animal welfare perspective, but still very expensive.

So we usually go to Almond Valley at 1/2 the price; not so many animals though.

TinfoilHattie Thu 13-Apr-17 23:24:48

I haven't been to 5 sisters. My youngest is totally daft about animals and we were looking into one of those keeper experience things for his birthday - 5 sisters is half the price of Edinburgh Zoo.

MoreProseccoNow Thu 13-Apr-17 23:27:55

I've just checked the website & it would be £32 for me & 2,DC. It has a good play park, nice grounds at 5 sisters & at least you don't pay for parking.

Sixp Thu 13-Apr-17 23:45:52

Both of mine have done the keeper experience there and loved it!

Groovee Fri 14-Apr-17 08:11:52

We live near the zoo but would have no idea what to do if a wolf turned up in our gardenhmm. It would probably be posted and debated on the local Facebook page.

I had membership when the kids were younger. It was great to just walk or bus up and spend sometime there. Then one day I realised we only saw the penguins as we just moved from playpark to playpark. I didn't bother renewing.

I reckon the pandas have been a massive drain! They are constantly emailing youth groups with special deals.

Iamastonished Fri 14-Apr-17 08:15:55

If ever you venture south I recommend Chester Zoo and Yorkshire Wildlife Park.

Noofly Fri 14-Apr-17 15:32:11

DD is doing the keeper half day in August (was a Christmas present) at the 5 sisters. We live a couple of miles away and used to go regularly when the DC were younger. I do like seeing the lions on a sunny summer day- they all pile on top of each other on their platform and just look so relaxed and comfortable.

Rubyslippers7780 Fri 14-Apr-17 15:36:25

Have you tried 5 sister zoo? It is full of rescue animals from circuses etc. Not too far from Edinburgh and actually pretty small. Would recommend it as it is more about saving animals ( the lions are massive but don't have manes are were castrated for performing ), bears, birds etc but the food is basically a burger van so take a lunch!

LassWiTheDelicateAir Thu 20-Apr-17 00:36:05

Another vote for 5 Sisters. They do a tremendous job.

ItsTimeForDuggee Thu 20-Apr-17 00:53:16

We went to the zoo on Boxing Day and didn't see half of it because we were to lazy to walk up the hill to the top blush but we did get to see both pandas and the chimps

alteredimages Thu 20-Apr-17 09:07:20

I too am happy that the animals who couldn't be looked after properly have been rehomed. The polar bear, in particular, was a very depressing sight when I went a few years ago.

On the other hand, it is so bloody expensive that I can't imagine going again. I didn't feel that it was good value for money and the catering services are shocking.

SteamPudding Thu 20-Apr-17 11:19:58

If you want to see giraffes, elephants, lions, go to Blair Drummond Safari Park. Not so far from Edinburgh and, in my opinion, much more fun for children than the zoo.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 20-Apr-17 12:50:38

Blair Drummond was horrific when I went a couple of years ago - they have performing sea lions FFS.

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