Edinburgh Zoo is a non-profit zoological institution that used to be called the Scottish National Zoological Park. According to the mission statement of the popular zoo, its aim is to inspire and teach visitors about the natural wonder of living animals, and to help inspire and promote the preservation of the habitats of endangered and threatened species.
The land that is allotted for the zoo is found on Corstorphine Hill, which also provides visitors with a unique view of the city. Every year the zoo which was established in 1913 receives about 600,000 visitors and is owned by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland. Due to the amount of tourists it receives it is the second most popular paid attraction in Scotland, second only to Edinburgh Castle.
Outside of being an attraction for visitors, the zoo also is actively involved in other pursuits including researching animal behaviour patterns, global conservation programs, and the captive breeding of animals that are endangered.
Edinburgh Zoo holds the distinction of being the only Zoo in Britain that is home to koalas and was the first zoo across the globe to breed and house penguins. Due to these distinctions and many others, the Edinburgh Zoo received a four star rating by the official Scottish Tourism Board.
Outside of animals, the zoo is also home to a very diverse selection of trees within its garden area, which is the best collection found in the Lothian’s.
Other notable animals include two jaguars, three Asiatic Lions, and a pair of male Indian rhinoceroses.
Within the zoo there are a little over 1,000 animals that are housed in enclosures across its 82 acres of land. For the most part the animals belong to the bird and mammal species although there are a few amphibian and reptiles housed inside at the Discovery Centre.