Animals & Attractions

Coming in Spring 2024!

We have a rich and vast natural history story to tell in Scotland. From the legends of our Highland tigers, to the modern-day stories of the mysterious little pollinator the pine hoverfly. 

Building Scotland’s Wildlife Discovery Centre will help our charity, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), continue to deliver excellent customer service to our visitors and inspire them to appreciate and enjoy Scotland’s wildlife, as well as understand how they can help to protect it.

A network of three hubs around the park will bring to life the challenges facing wildlife in Scotland and around the world. Crucially, we will also focus on the opportunities to protect nature and the actions we can take in our everyday lives.

Construction has started

While we build the centre, there will be some changes at the park. Red panda Kevyn is currently at Edinburgh Zoo while work takes place, and our Eurasian cranes have moved to a new location next to the Japanese macaques.

Construction work has started on the main discovery hub, which will use innovative digital technology to immerse people in stories of Scotland’s wildlife of the past, present and future. 

Our learning hub is also underway and will enable visitors, groups and communities to learn about wildlife conservation through STEM, outdoor learning and citizen science, which will promote action. 

Over the course of this year, we will develop our hilltop hub, with views of the Saving Wildcats conservation breeding for release centre providing an ideal opportunity to tell the story of why wildcats in Scotland are on the brink of extinction and how RZSS and partners are working together to save the species.

The Scotland’s Wildlife Discovery Centre project will also involve the refurbishment of Highland Wildlife Park’s existing visitor centre and seven dedicated staff delivering on site learning opportunities and community outreach programmes. 

Can you help transform our Highland Wildlife Park?

With your support, Scotland’s Wildlife Discovery Centre will inspire visitors and communities in the Cairngorms National Park to protect nature at a time when the world faces a biodiversity crisis.

This world-class visitor experience will take you on a journey of discovery through Highland Wildlife Park, home of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland.

We are incredibly grateful to our funders for their support and for sharing our vision for Scotland’s Wildlife Discovery Centre. This support has been even more important in the face of the rising costs of construction, which have increased by over £2 million in the past two years and been a factor in the expected opening date moving from summer 2023 to spring 2024. 

There are opportunities for more funders to become involved in this incredibly exciting project and help people and communities to protect nature.


With thanks to our supporters:

  • National Lottery Heritage Fund
  • The Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund led by NatureScot and part funded through the European Development Fund (ERDF)
  • Highlands and Islands Enterprise
  • Postcode Planet Trust
  • SSE Sustainable Development Fund
  • The Hugh Fraser Foundation
  • Tillyloss Trust


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