Visitor’s disappointment at ‘lack of animals’ at Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh zoo has been branded a ‘national disgrace’ as visitors claim it is ’empty’ (Picture: Deadline News)

Edinburgh Zoo prides itself on being one of Scotland’s main attractions but recent reviews claim its ’emptiness’ makes it a ‘national disgrace’.

Up to 40 percent of Trip Advisor reviews left in August have been one star, with visitors complaining about the ‘extortionate’ £21.50 entry fee for what turned out to be a ‘long boring walk’.

Reviews described the zoo as having dirty and tired enclosure, dragging the average rating down to 2.5 stars out of five compared with the overall average of four stars.

Wendy Spoon, in her one-star review on Trip Advisor written last week, raged: ‘Worst zoo ever – we saw about six animals.’

The zoo is supposedly one of Scotland’s main attractions (Picture: Deadline news)

Emma B, from Lowestoft, Suffolk, complained in her one-star rant: ‘This zoo is a national disgrace. Worst zoo in the country,’

One review from Alana Kelly, said: ‘For the price of the entry fee, I was expecting a lot and was sorely disappointed. The animals we saw the most of were wasps.

‘Most of the enclosures appeared empty and were overgrown so it was difficult to see what was inside.’

TravellerEdinburgh rated the zoo two stars, saying: ‘The enclosures are very tired and hardly any animals were visible.

‘I don’t expect to see every animal and am all for respecting the animals’ privacy, but these enclosures are dull and the glass is very dirty. The design makes for poor viewing. Quite a few enclosures are empty too.”

A particularly scathing review from Mattjjjj, headined ‘Total waste of money’, reads: ‘Should be prosecuted under the trade description act, it’s not a zoo! Maybe rename as what it is – a long boring walk on a hill.’

But visitors claim they only saw a total of six animals (Picture: Deadline News)

When a reporter visited the zoo on Thursday, paying £21.50, both the indoor viewing platform for the pandas and the Asiatic lion enclosure were closed for breeding season.

Parts looked tired and worn out and several other attractions, such as the Lemur Walk and Koala Territory, were also shut three hours before the official close of the park.

Sarah Kelly, 27, said she was disappointed with what she had seen on Thursday.

She explained: ‘There’s not a lot really, we saw a couple of penguins, we didn’t see the lions and it’s not much especially for what you pay.’

While Lee Robertson, 44 and who was visiting with his two young sons, echoed her saying: ‘Not much at all to see.’

However, the Kent family, who traveled from Westminster, London, were more positive.

Mum Ruth said: ‘It is missing some of the key animals, it’s a bit light here and there, but we’ve enjoyed it, the scenery and the staff were lovely.

‘The koalas were gorgeous and we saw the nose of the panda. It’s just some of the bits and bobs that are missing.’

One customer described the zoo as a ‘long boring walk up a hill’ (Picture: Deadline news)

Donna Rozzier and her sisters Charlie and Clare from Ipswich, Suffolk said they were extremely impressed with the zoo.

The 42-year-old said: ‘We’ve had a fantastic day, we just kept going back and forth because we were determined to see the panda and we did!

‘We’ve been here since 10.30am and been everywhere pretty much, the penguin parade is good and it’s definitely worth the entry.’

And Siobhan Gray who was visiting with her four-year-old autistic son Caban said: ‘It’s quite autism friendly, they’ve been really helpful and given an accessibility map.

‘The animals are great, a few things were closed off, but when it’s in the interests of the animals you don’t feel like you’re missing out.’

A spokeswoman for Edinburgh Zoo said: ‘We continue to receive very positive feedback though our exit surveys and remain one of Scotland’s most popular visitor attractions.’

‘Our animals are provided with varied and enriching environments, including places to hide in and foliage to explore, giving them an important opportunity to express natural behaviours.

‘We advise visitors to make the most of our daily animal talks and feeds and to return to enclosures at different times throughout the day.’


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