Bleary eyed and bushy tailed early on Saturday morning the newly formed Postgraduate Society made their way to Edinburgh zoo. Bristling with anticipation and excitement the coach had a distinctly warm atmosphere with everyone socialising and sharing stories about which animals they wanted to see first. Despite some slight traffic, the group arrived at the zoo in remarkably quick time.
Once inside, the group split off and began to explore the various animals there were to observe. The majority of the group initially headed to the gigantic Chimp enclosure that sits in the centre of the zoo. Others decided that they wanted to make their way to the big cats area to see the lions and tigers. With tour guides milling about everywhere the group were extremely well informed about all the animals. Fun and unusual facts included that big cats sleep for 90% of the time to conserve energy and that chimps have the mind of a 5-year old child but 4 times the strength of an average man.
In the afternoon, some people made their way over to the Rhino enclosure on the far side of the zoo. As the keeper brought out the food next to the viewing platform, everyone was startled by the Rhino as it began charging towards us. Part of the talk involved explaining to everyone why the Rhino is such endangered species due to the shameful practice of poaching for their horn.
The group was also delighted to see Brigadier Sir Nils Olav of the Norwegian Army in action – not a man, but a penguin, along with the rest of penguin colony before moving onto the insect enclosure. Those not afraid of ‘creepy crawlies’ were allowed hold various types of insects. With the day coming to an end all too quickly, the group headed back towards the coach catching a final glimpse of some flamingos and meerkats.
After the success of our first ever event, the postgraduate society is looking forward to an extremely bright future providing engaging activities dedicated towards postgraduate students. Special thanks go to the rest of the Postgraduate Society committee, Josh Newlands and Dan Leicester, Student Union Project support worker Jess Bayley for helping to organise the day and NUSU president Jack Taylor for giving us a nudge to set up the society.