Five Sisters Zoo is dedicated to encouraging and supporting research that improves captive animal management and benefits the conservation of animals. Research is a primary objective of ours and is a major role within modern zoos.

Five Sisters Zoo encourages students to undertake non-invasive animal-based research, looking at areas including:

  • Animal health (including nutrition, physiology, and pathology)
  • Animal behaviour (including stereotypic behaviour and environmental enrichment)
  • Enclosure design
  • Visitor studies (including visitor preferences and behaviours, and the effectiveness of zoo marketing strategies)
  • Zoo education

Research is helpful to Five Sisters Zoo giving a valuable insight into enclosure design, diet, social behaviour… etc. as well as making us aware of visitors attitudes and perceptions, thus aiding conservation through improved education.


All researchers wishing to conduct a project at Five Sisters Zoo should submit a Research Application Form, with an attached research proposal if possible.

Applications are assessed by the education department and zoo management staff, and will be accepted based on the subject area, its value to science, and the logistics of the proposed study.

Applications should be sent in at least one month in advance of the proposed start date.

For further information about research at Five Sisters Zoo, please contact Rebecca at Five Sisters Zoo, Gavieside, West Calder, West Lothian, EH55 8PT or email


For the safety of our staff and visitors, we have made the decision to close the zoo from tonight. Our team of dedicated keepers and vet will continue to make sure all our animals are well looked after. We hope this will not be for too long a period but we will follow government advice and guidelines.

If you would like to donate towards the zoo, we appreciate any help although we know this is a difficult time for everyone.
Thank you all for your continued support and hope we can welcome you all back soon.