Players of People's Postcode Lottery have been supporting the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) since 2013. To date, players have raised £550,000 for the zoo's activities, helping them deliver a huge range of conservation and education programmes, both in Scotland and in over 20 countries around the world.
Thanks to support from players of People's Postcode Lottery, RZSS has been able to continue to support key conservation programmes, like protecting chimpanzees in Uganda via the Budongo Conservation Field Station. One of the station's key community projects is the ex-hunter scheme, which aims to dissuade local villagers from hunting, while providing them with an alternative option for their livelihoods. The dedicated team based at Budongo has also been carrying out behavioural research on chimpanzee populations and working to mitigate the loss of forest habitat to help preserve the home of these unique animals.
Closer to home, the support from players of People's Postcode Lottery has also enabled RZSS to upgrade several animal enclosures across their two sites – RZSS Edinburgh Zoo and RZSS Highland Wildlife Park - which provide amazing days out for 800,000 people a year. As well as helping RZSS care for the thousands of animals within its collection, player's support also helped build the immersive new Wallaby Outback area at Edinburgh Zoo. This spacious open-air walkthrough enclosure sees visitors enter and walk amongst a mob of wallabies, who, it's safe to say, are delighted with their new home!
Earlier this year, RZSS also opened a new and improved enclosure for its troop of Barbary macaques, which is already proving popular with visitors of all ages. RZSS is committed to ensuring the highest standards of animal welfare and is delighted that player support has helped enable the organisation's excellence in animal husbandry and enrichment of the animals’ environments.
In addition to RZSS's conservation work and animal collection, the support of players of People's Postcode Lottery is having a very positive impact on their education work, including the RZSS Science Summer School. This programme of free week-long courses running at both Scottish sites provides students aged 16 to 18 with real world experience in the fields of research and conservation. The zoo is committed to inspiring the next generation of environmental custodians through their educational activities, and thanks to support from players, they are able to offer more young people opportunities for learning than ever before.
The team at RZSS would like to extend their gratitude to the players for all their support over the years. As they continue to grow their ambitious conservation and education programmes in Scotland and across the world, RZSS look forward to working even more closely with People's Postcode Lottery to safeguard a brighter future for some of our planet's most threatened species.