The Zoological Society of Scotland was founded in 1909 and by July of 1913 the Edinburgh Zoo was opened. Located just west of Edinburgh’s city center on 82 acres of rolling hillside, the Edinburgh Zoo is home to over 1000 rare and endangered species. It wasn’t until after a visit in 1948 by HRH King George VI that the Society was granted the prestige of adding Royal to their title to become the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland. The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland continues to be the only zoo in the United Kingdom with a Royal Charter.
The Edinburgh Zoo is probably best known for their penguins. In 1913 Edinburgh Zoo became the first zoo in the world to house penguins with the arrival of three King Penguins from Norway and in 1919 again became the first zoo in the world to breed penguins with a successful hatchling. Their most famous penguin, Sir Nils Olav, was adopted by the Royal Norwegian Guard in 1972, becoming their mascot, and in 2008 was knighted under the King of Norway. How many zoos can say they have a knighted animal? It’s simply amazing! Now the King Penguin, perhaps Sir Nils Olav himself, is featured in the zoo’s logo.
Not only does the Edinburgh Zoo host the only Giant Pandas and Koalas in the United Kingdom, they are also Scotland’s second most successful visitor attraction, second only to Edinburgh Castle.
To read more about my visit to Scotland please visit “The World As I See It” – my travel blog @ http://ladystravelblog.wordpress.com