Topic outline

  • Education Resources

  • Edinburgh's Penguins

    RZSS Edinburgh Zoo is probably best known for our penguins. Our association with these amazing birds began in January 1913 with the arrival of three king penguins and the first successful hatching of a king penguin chick in 1919. These were the first penguins ever to be seen anywhere outside of the South Atlantic, and we have pioneered the care and science of penguins ever since.

    Edinburgh Zoo is now home to Europe's largest outdoor penguin pool and over 150 penguins, including Gentoos, Kings and Northern Rockhoppers.


    Watch our penguin colony live from Penguins Rock!
  • Maggie's Penguins

    Maggie's Penguins

    The Maggie’s Centre, Wild in Art, sponsors, artists, schools and the community have come together to welcome 80 giant, individually designed penguin sculptures to Dundee during summer 2018. There will be a trail live on 29th June and will be live all summer culminating in a grand farewell event in Slessor Gardens on 22 and 23 September before a spectacular auction on 24 September 2018.

    Meanwhile children in schools across Dundee will be learning all about penguins, and decorating smaller sized penguins that will join their friends on the trail before returning to live with their adopted school family.

    Maggie’s Penguin Parade is a partnership event between Maggie’s Dundee and Wild in Art.

  • About RZSS

    RZSS Mansion House at Edinburgh Zoo

    The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) was founded in 1909, by an Edinburgh lawyer Thomas Gillespie. A visionary and nature enthusiast, in only four years he garnered sufficient support and funding to enable the Society to buy an 85 acre site to the west of Edinburgh, for £17,000 with help from the City of Edinburgh Council.

    Edinburgh Zoo was opened to the public on 22 July 1913, and was incorporated by Royal Charter later that year. However, it was only in 1948, following a visit by HRH King George VI, that the Society was granted the privilege of adding the prefix 'Royal' to its name. It remains the only zoo with a Royal Charter in the United Kingdom. Today Edinburgh Zoo is home to over 1000 animals.

    In 1986 the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland acquired the Highland Wildlife Park in Kincraig. The Highland Wildlife Park is now home to over 200 amazing animals including native Scottish species as well as rare and endangered animals from the world's mountains and tundra regions.

    In addition to operating Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland supports education, research and conservation projects in the UK and around the world.

    • Skype in the Classroom

      Gentoo Penguins at Penguin Rock

      Skype in the Classroom is an online community that enables thousands of teachers to inspire the next generation of global citizens through transformative learning over Skype.

      The RZSS Education team offer classes all over the world the chance to visit our famous colony of penguins via these virtual field trips. 

      Students will be able to see the birds have fun with a beautiful stone waterfall feature, a water shoot in the shallow end of the pool, and a diving board made out of carved rock. We will introduce you to the 3 species of penguins we have in the zoo and we will discuss about their habitat and range.

      Students will also learn about penguins adaptations and flipper bands and they will discuss penguin lifecycles and breeding.

      Finally we will discuss conservation and how we can all contribute to protecting our planet.

    • Maggies Penguin Parade Edinburgh Zoo logo RZSS logo