On Friday 24th May I donned my finest tiger tee and headed along to the first Edinburgh Zoo Nights, an after hours event designed for adults. As well as the usual exhibitions being open there were pop-up bars and eateries, comedy shows, street entertainers, animal handling, face painting and more. Open from 6pm – 10pm, we were there for the full four hours, but we couldn’t see everything so we concentrated on the animals and the food!
Street Food in the form of chicken noodles, heavy on the chicken – nice!
Vintage teacup cocktail party in the Budongo Trail Chimpanzee enclosure. Options were a Gin Fizz or a Brass Monkey. I had both.
Cupcakes and Coke Floats for the sophisticates among us.
The Jaguar seemed a bit miffed that there were still people about a dinner time. Normally she sleeps all day (as she should!) and misses the crowds.
The Amur Leopard on the other hand seemed happy to meet her adoring fans and posed nicely, showing off her stunning markings.
I loved this family of Red River Hogs, dad and the two kids ran dutifully after mum, following her every move.
The Gentoo Penguins are in prime mating season. You can see that the penguin at the front has two eggs, while under Snowflake, the beautiful grey male behind, is a tiny chicky.
The Oriental Small-clawed Otters are the entertainers of the Zoo. Here they were spraying each other in the face by half covering a hose pipe with their paws. So funny.
The famous Giant Panda. I can’t remember if this was Yang Guang or Tian Tian but they were both sitting munching their daily bamboo.
The Meerkats were just chilling, enjoying the last of the day’s sun, just like the rest of us.
For me, the highlight of the evening was seeing the penguins in their all new Penguins Rock enclosure. Most of the Gentoo’s were on their nests but these guys kindly demonstrated their new pool and the fabulous views visitors got of them swimming. This is the way to do a penguin enclosure.
There is another Zoo Nights coming up on 28th June and I cannot recommend it enough. For just £4 more than a regular ticket you get to enjoy the zoo sans kiddies (sorry parents, but they can be annoying), some of the animals are more lively in the evening and you can get a wee drink and abit to eat. One thing I will say, make sure you book in a time for animal handling as soon as you get there, we forgot and missed out. The four hours flew by and if I wasn’t working during the June night I would definitely go again. I hope that they repeat it next year, and that the weather is as good!
As the cherry on top, me and David stayed in the Holiday Inn next door and David treated me to a cuddly panda. He is called Bad Panda as his tag read ‘lying panda’.