The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) was founded in 1909 by Edinburgh lawyer Thomas Gillespie. A visionary and nature enthusiast, in just four years Thomas garnered sufficient support and funding to enable RZSS to buy an 85 acre site to the west of Edinburgh, 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 one of only a few zoos with a Royal Charter in the United Kingdom. Today, Edinburgh Zoo is home to over 2,500 amazing animals.