Tag Archives: Animal Park in Sussex

Baby Monkey Boom at Drusillas Park

1 Nov

Drusillas is currently in the midst of a baby boom with a multitude of mini monkeys popping up around the Park. Amongst the latest arrivals are two emperor tamarins, two cotton-topped tamarins, three red-handed tamarins and two silvery marmosets.

The monkey madness started when Emperor tamarin, Lucy gave birth to twins.  This species takes its name from the 19th Century Emperor, Wilhelm II of Germany, who they are said to resemble on account of their distinctive moustaches. The fan-tash-stic pair are becoming more independent everyday and can now be seen playing with their older siblings.

Two silvery marmosets were next to make an appearance. The pearl coloured pair were born on 28th August and are thriving under the watchful guidance of proud parents Captain Jack and Hester. Silvery marmosets are native to the forests of Central andSouth Americaand usually give birth to twins every five to six months.

Then it was the turn of the red-handed tamarins, who delivered triplets.Keepers made the happy discovery on 28th September and all the babies are doing well and prospering. This species usually have two babies at a time which are generally carried around by the father; to have three is rare.

Finally two critically endangered cotton-topped tamarins arrived. The tiny bundles were born on 14th October and are doing well with the help of Dad, John and Mum, Georgie. Cotton topped tamarins are native to the humid tropical forests of Columbia, where there has been a severe reduction in the population mainly due to the destruction of their habitat. Like many of the animals at Drusillas, the group is part of a European breeding programme.

Zoo Manager, Sue Woodgate commented: “We are always excited by new arrivals. It is brilliant to have so many babies born within our breeding programmes and they are proving very popular with the public too. Fingers crossed, we are hoping for a few more happy events in the near future.

Meerkats Receive Flippin’ Good Treat!

11 Mar

To mark the Shrove Tuesday tradition at Drusillas Park, pancakes were added to the menu on Tuesday 8th March and served to the mischievous meerkats by Zoo Manager, Sue Woodgate.

Tossing aside the conventional recipe, six savoury style crepes were created from a mouth-watering mix of baby rice and pro-biotic yogurt and presented to the hungry mob in a frying pan.

The meerkats went wild as they revelled in egg-citment and whisked away the unusual offerings. The platter was cleared in a jiffy proving this was one pancake treat that certainly did not fall flat!

Delivering the animalsmeals in imaginative and unusual ways is part of the zoo’s enrichment programme. Enrichment is carried out within all the enclosures on a daily basis to help ensure the animals receive a diverse and varied diet, as well as remain stimulated and content within their surroundings.

Zoo Manager, Sue Woodgate commented: “The meerkats are very curious creatures; they love exploring new things. They wasted no time climbing into the pan and polishing off the crepes. It all panned out very well indeed!”

An Unusual Friendship…

20 Dec

Two residents at Drusillas Park have struck up the unlikeliest of friendships. Hettie the guinea fowl and Tullula the capybara started spending an increasing amount of time together after both their companions passed away of old age earlier this year.

Capybaras are the largest species of rodent in the world.  They are found around rivers and in grasslands, marshes and bogs in South America and can hold their breath underwater for up to five minutes. On the other hand guinea fowl are noisy birds, roughly the size of a partridge. They are generally dark grey in colour with featherless heads and are native to Africa.

The pair became close in September prior to the arrival of Tullula’s new mate, Hector. Now they are inseparable with the little bird following the two large rodents everywhere they go and even sharing their food trough.

However, Hettie will not have too long to wait until she is back on top of the pecking order with some feathered friends of her own. Five guinea fowl are due to fly onto the zoo route on 23rd December, arriving from Cotswold Wildlife Park in Oxfordshire.

Large Egyptian Grasshopper Found in Salad

19 Nov

Drusillas Park’s spider and insect expert Angela Hale welcomed a special visitor to the zoo this week after receiving a phone call from the RSPCA. They had been contacted by a member of the public who had discovered a large insect in a bag of salad and wondered whether Drusillas could provide the unusual foreigner with a suitable home.Angela Hale with the Grasshopper

On closer inspection Angela confirmed that the insect was an Egyptian grasshopper, easily identified due to the vertical striped pattern of their eyes. The size and shape of the shield that protects their head is also unlike other species. 

In the wild, Egyptian grasshoppers are found on various plants, trees and shrubs throughout southern Europe, where they are relatively common. They prefer warm, dry areas and feed on a variety of leaves.

Measuring approximately 6.5cm the grasshopper was almost certainly a female, as males are slightly smaller at around 3.5cm in length. The grasshopper was fully grown displaying adult colouration, which is generally grey or brown providing excellent camouflage when against tree bark. It also had fully developed wings; these insects are able to fly as well as use their strong back legs to jump. At rest, the wings fold along the body.

Angela commented: “To discover a grasshopper in this way is incredibly unusual and although it may give someone a bit of a shock, these insects are completely harmless. The grasshopper is in excellent health and settling into her new home, where we hope she will be very happy.”