The Cambridge Geek is still on holiday. And has now decided to pop into a zoo.
Edinburgh Zoo is of particular interest to an occasional animal looker-atter, due to the fact that it has a couple of pandas in it. Tian Tian and Yang Guang have been at Edinburgh Zoo for several years now, failing to reproduce for all of that time. (Apparently Tian Tian keeps pretending to be pregnant.)
They're generally sloth-like creatures, as evidenced by the fact that Yang Guang remained horizontal and vaguely snoring during the multiple hours we were in the zoo, which meant it was rather nice to see Tian Tian wander about and have a bit of an eat. They're the only pandas in Britain, discounting stuffed exhibits, so they're in demand.
Other highlights include the red pandas, which are considerably smaller and wander about in trees, while being unbearably cute, the koalas, who look very serene while chewing eucalyptus, and a bit of snake handling. While the Girl hates a height, she does love a snake, so fun was had there.
Biggest disappointment of the day was definitely the Scottish wildcats, apparently at risk of extinction due to hybridisation via their constant breeding with domestic housecats. Honestly, I don't know how you're supposed to be able to tell whether or not they're Scottish. The pair the zoo have mostly look just like a pair of tabbies. In fact, I'm more than a little suspicious that they weren't an exhibit, merely someone attempting to reduce their food bills. (Or two very clever cats who've worked out how to get the adoration they think they deserve.)
Also more meerkats than you can shake a stick at. They might have been a bit too successful with their breeding programme.
Go off-season, and it's even (mostly) free of kids, and you don't have to book a slot to get in to see the pandas, you just wander past.