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Royal Zoological Society of Scotland Charity Profile
Edinburgh Zoo is owned by The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS). The Society was founded in March 1909, and the Zoo opened in July 1913.
Set in 82 acres of sloping parkland, the Zoo is situated three miles to the west of Edinburgh city centre.
Apart from getting close to over 1,000 rare and endangered animals, there are many different ways to enjoy your day out.
You can experience a busy programme of educational events and activities - ranging from keeper talks through to hands-on animal encounters - and a wide-range of eating experiences, several play areas, a fantastic gift shop, free hilltop safari rides.
'To inspire and excite our visitors with the wonder of living animals, and so to promote the conservation of threatened species and habitats.'
CONSERVATION, EDUCATION AND RESEARCH
Edinburgh Zoo is one of Europe's leading centres of conservation, education and research. We work collectively with many other zoos and conservation agencies in the UK, Europe and around the world in co-ordinated conservation programmes, to help ensure the survival of many threatened animal species. We support various conservation projects in the wild through funding and expertise.
Our extensive education programme aims to raise awareness and understanding of the fragility of life on this planet, and our responsibility to help care for it.
We also support a range of targeted research projects which are designed to enhance our understanding of animals' behavioural and physiological needs, with many useful consequences for conservation in the wild.
RZSS CHOSEN TO HOST THE IUCN UK SECRETARIAT
In 2009, RZSS was chosen to become the official Secretariat for the UK National Committee of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The IUCN is the world’s first global environmental organization and is now the largest global conservation network. As part of their work, IUCN is responsible for producing the “Red List”, which identifies all species under threat from extinction in the wild.
Read more about RZSS and the IUCN UK Secretariat here.
SCOTTISH VISITOR ATTRACTION
The Zoo is also one of Scotland's most successful visitor attractions, second only to Edinburgh Castle in terms of paying visitors, with over 600,000 visitors a year.
Open every day of the year including Christmas Day, we have four stars from the VisitScotland quality assurance scheme, and we work hard to offer our visitors a truly great day out. Please see our section on visitor information for details of all our visitor facilities.