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About RZSS

Tribal Elders

The RZSS Tribal Elders programme was established to recapture the tradition of oral storytelling. We honour that tradition by providing a unique forum for distinguished speakers who have dedicated their lives to some aspect of conservation through teaching, writing, filming, broadcasting or influencing public policy to offer their distilled pearls of wisdom, and to challenge our audiences to be thoughtful in discovering ways in which each of us can make a difference.

Hosted twice annually in Spring and Autumn at our Budongo Lecture Theatre at Edinburgh Zoo for our staff, Members and invited guests, each of our Tribal Elder lectures is filmed for later viewing through the RZSS Members’ portal on our websites, and forms part of the Society’s permanent archives.

Watch our latest Tribal Elders lecture with Dr George McGavin:


Please find links below to catch up on all our previous Tribal Elders lectures:


Dr Jane Goodall DBE:

Reasons for Hope 
Click here to watch the video

Professor Aubrey Manning OBE:

Are We Prepared to Share the Planet with Nature? 
Click here to watch the video

Professor Roger Wheater OBE:

From Elephants to Penguins: Caring for Animals in the Wild and in Zoological Parks
Click here to watch the video

Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal:

Committed to Conservation
Click here to watch the video

Lee Durrel MBE

Click here to watch the video

Dr David Western

Click here to watch the video


Watch the Tribal Elders lecture series