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We are closed

Following government announcements on Monday 4 January, we took the very difficult decision to close Edinburgh Zoo until further notice.

We know so many of you have loved being able to visit your zoo and enjoy our outdoor spaces and amazing animals in recent months, which has made this decision even harder. Your support has been incredible and every visit, membership and purchase in our shop and café has helped to care for our animals and protect species from extinction.

Together with existing travel restrictions, the new rules on outdoor gatherings and legal requirements to stay at home wherever possible would have reduced our visitor numbers to the point where we could not remain open.

We’re sure you’ll have lots of questions about what this means for you, the zoo and our animals which is why you’ll find a list of frequently asked questions below. Please read these carefully before getting in touch – you’ll find contact details at the bottom of this page.

Thank you for your support and patience.

Frequently asked questions

  • General
  • Fundraising and donations
  • Memberships and tickets
  • Animals, adoptions and experiences
  • At home learning

General FAQs

  • Why is the zoo closed?

    Following government announcements on Monday 4 January, we took the very difficult decision to close Edinburgh Zoo until further notice.

    Together with existing travel restrictions, the new rules on outdoor gatherings and legal requirements to stay at home wherever possible would have reduced our visitor numbers to the point where we could not remain open.

  • How long will you be closed for?

    We are closed until further notice and will be closely following government and public health advice.

    When it is safe to welcome you all back, we will be sure to let you know!

    You can sign up for our email newsletters and follow us on social media to stay up to date with our latest news, including any animal births, and our many conservation projects here in Scotland and around the world.

  • Do you have live webcams?

    Yes! We are running all the live webcams we can at the moment which include our pandas, tigers, lions, penguins and koalas.

    Visit edinburghzoo.org.uk/webcams to see how some of your favourite animals are getting on today.

    Ps. you can even still visit the zoo with our Discovery and Learning team's Virtual Tours!

  • Can I volunteer to look after the animals?

    We are not able to take on volunteers at this time, though rest-assured our dedicated keepers and vets will continue giving our animals the very best of care and we will keep you up to date with how they’re all getting on.

    The best way to help, if you can, is to consider giving a donation to feed the animals today at edinburghzoo.org.uk/help

    You can also adopt an animalbecome a member, join as a patron, or be a conservation hero and start your own fundraising campaign.

    If you'd like to give the animals a treat, we also have an Amazon Wishlist for enrichment - find out more.

  • What is the best way for me to help?

    Our dedicated keepers and vets will continue giving our animals the very best of care and we will keep you up to date with how they’re all getting on.

    If you can, please consider giving a donation to feed the animals today at edinburghzoo.org.uk/help

    If you're looking for another way to help our charity, please read our 'Fundraising and donations' FAQs.

Fundraising and donations

  • What is the best way for me to help?

    Our dedicated keepers and vets will continue giving our animals the very best of care and we will keep you up to date with how they’re all getting on.

    If you can, please consider giving a donation to feed the animals today at edinburghzoo.org.uk/help

    You can also adopt an animalbecome a member, join as a patron, or be a conservation hero and start your own fundraising campaign.

    Other ways to help include sharing our fundraising appeals with your friends and family online - every like, share and retweet really does make a difference.

     

  • Can I volunteer to look after the animals?

    We are not able to take on volunteers at this time, though rest-assured our dedicated keepers and vets will continue giving our animals the very best of care and we will keep you up to date with how they’re all getting on.

    The best way to help, if you can, is to consider giving a donation to feed the animals today at edinburghzoo.org.uk/help

    You can also adopt an animalbecome a member, join as a patron, or be a conservation hero and start your own fundraising campaign.

    If you'd like to give the animals a treat, we also have an Amazon Wishlist for enrichment - find out more.

  • Do you accept food donations for the animals?

    Many of our animals have specialist diets and we need to be very careful about what food we order and when it arrives to make sure they have everything they need and to avoid as much waste as possible.

    Please do not leave any food parcels outside the zoo - we are not able to accept these or any food that may be going to waste elsewhere.

    The best way to help, if you can, is to consider making a donation to feed the animals at edinburghzoo.org.uk/help

    If you're representing a business that have a specific item to offer, or would like to support our charity in a different way, please email supportus@rzss.org.uk.

  • Can I send you some bamboo from my garden?

    Occasionally, we supplement our bamboo and browse supplies from large local gardens.

    If you grow large patches of bamboo, or have trees that need pruning, we may be able to come and collect some for our animals.

    Please note - this would need to be freshly cut by our gardens team and fit with their schedule and requirements. Please email animals@rzss.org.uk if you'd like to offer to help, we'll be in touch if needed.

    The best way to help, if you can, is to consider making a donation to feed the animals at edinburghzoo.org.uk/help

    Other ways to help include sharing our fundraising appeals with your friends and family online - every like, share and retweet really does make a difference.

     

Memberships and tickets

  • What does this mean for my membership?

    Your membership helps to care for our animals here at the zoo and supports our charity's wildlife conservation work around the world, even while we're closed.

    We will stay in touch with our members by email and you can also follow RZSS and Edinburgh Zoo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates on how the animals are doing.

    If you're not receiving member emails, you can sign up today to be the first to find out about upcoming events and the latest animal news at both Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park, as well as discovering how we’re protecting threatened species in Scotland and around the world.

    We know this is a challenging time for everyone, so please do email our team at membership@rzss.org.uk if you have any further questions about your membership or payments at this time.

     

  • What happens to my pre-booked tickets or gift voucher?

    We have emailed everyone who had pre-booked tickets for January. Please check your inbox before contacting our team at info@rzss.org.uk.

    If you have booked members tickets, your booking will be cancelled automatically so there is no need to contact us.

    If you have purchased tickets or member guest tickets, we would be happy to provide you with gift admission vouchers to use later in 2021 - as well as helping to feed our animals and protect wildlife - or with a refund as the zoo is now closed.

    If you have a gift voucher due to expire while we're closed, we will be extending all expiration dates.

    Thank you for your support and patience. Our small team are working as fast as they can and will get back to everyone as quickly as possible.

  • Can I become a member?

    Yes! You can join us as a member online.

    By joining today, you will be helping our amazing keepers care for your favourite animals as well as protecting vulnerable species here in Scotland and in more than 20 countries around the world. 

    During this difficult time, your support is more vital than ever.

  • How do I check the status of my membership or renew?

    To check the status of your membership, or to restart/renew your membership, please contact membership@rzss.org.uk.

    We are receiving LOTS of messages and will get back to you as soon as we can. Thank you for your patience.

Animals, adoptions and experiences

  • Are the animals okay?

    Yes. Throughout this time, our keepers and vets have been continuing to give our animals the best of care and working hard to keep their routines as normal as possible.

    Our keepers are wearing masks and taking even more precautions to protect the animals and themselves.

     

    After a number of cases of avian influenza (bird flu) have been confirmed in the UK, we have also implemented extra measures to help protect our birds.

    You can help care for the animals you love with a donation today at edinburghzoo.org.uk/help

  • What is happening with the pandas?

    Our ten year panda agreement comes to an end in December 2021. We will be discussing next steps with our colleagues in China and it is too soon to say what any outcomes will be.

    The closures of Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park have had a huge financial impact on our charity because most of our income comes from our visitors. We have done all we can to protect RZSS by taking a government loan, furloughing staff where possible, making redundancies where necessary and launching a fundraising appeal.

    Unfortunately, we cannot access the government’s zoo fund because it is aimed at smaller zoos and we still need to reduce costs to secure our future.

    We have to seriously consider every potential saving and this includes assessing our giant panda contract and the cost of their daily care.

    Yang Guang and Tian Tian have made a tremendous impression on our visitors over the last nine years, helping millions of people connect to nature and inspiring them to take an interest in wildlife conservation. We would love for them to be able to stay for a few more years with us and that is certainly our current aim.

  • Are keeper experiences and magic moments available?

    In line with government and public health advice, all our keeper experiences and workshops are postponed until further notice.

    We will be in touch with everyone who has pre-booked experiences and workshops during this time and voucher validity will be extended.

    You can still buy vouchers for experiences in our online shop, though please be aware they are very popular and we're not sure when we will be able to restart these safely.

    You can get in touch with our events and experiences team by email at experiences@rzss.org.uk 

  • Can I adopt an animal?

    Yes! Animal adoption is a great way to support our charity and makes for a lovely treat or gift.

    By taking out an adoption with us, you are helping to care for your favourite zoo animals. Our food bill alone is more than £60,000 every month.

    Your support will also help to save animals in the wild by funding our many conservation projects here in Scotland and around the world.

    Find out more at rzss.org.uk/adopt

At home learning

  • Do you have live webcams?

    Yes! We are running all the live webcams we can at the moment which include our pandas, tigers, lions, penguins and koalas.

    Visit edinburghzoo.org.uk/webcams to see how some of your favourite animals are getting on today.

    Ps. you can even still visit the zoo with our Discovery and Learning team's Virtual Tours!

     

  • Are there other at home learning resources?

    Yes! We have a range of FREE and FUN online activities for families and children of all ages, dedicated resources for home educators, and you can even still visit the zoo with our Virtual Tours.

    There's lots more information at rzss.org.uk/rzss-education

Have another question?

Please bear with us (pun always intended) - we are receiving LOTS of messages and emails and will get back to everyone as quickly as we can.

Like many other charities, we are working with a smaller team at the moment and will not be able to answer phone calls at this time.

We really appreciate your support and patience and kindly ask that you read all of the information available before getting in touch.

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