Tag Archives: Award Winning Attractions

Critically Endangered Monkey Born at Drusillas Park

7 Nov

The baby boom continues as a critically endangered monkey is  born at Drusillas as part of the European breeding programme. The Sulawesi black crested macaque was delivered on Tuesday 25th October and staff are delighted with the new arrival.

Black crested macaques are native to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi where they are now regarded as critically endangered by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). In the last 40 years it is estimated that the population has been reduced by more than 80% due to habitat loss and hunting pressure and they now face the very real threat of extinction in the wild.

These large impressive monkeys have just one baby at a time, born with a pink face which darkens with age. So far the baby bundle, thought to be male, is thriving alongside parents Kendari and Moteck. He will remain very dependent for the next four to five months, clinging to his mother who will nurse him for at least a year.

Kendari and Moteck were introduced at Drusillas in 2010, after being re-homed respectively from Chester Zoo and Monkey Park in Israel. The new arrival is the couple’s first baby together and hopefully will be one of many more to come.

Breeding programmes such as the one at Drusillas Park operate throughout the zoo community, in conjunction with the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria. By cooperating in this way, animal collections hope to safeguard the existence of many animal species in order to secure their future survival.

Zoo Manager, Sue Woodgate commented: “It is wonderful to see the new addition to our macaque family. He is showing a lot of interest in his surroundings and being doted on by his cousin Kamala who was born at Drusillas in 2010. We are expecting a lot of monkeying around from these two over the coming months.”


Top Quality Attraction

8 Jul

Drusillas Park has undergone its tenth annual VAQAS inspection, comfortably retaining the accreditation of Quality Assured Visitor Attraction. Based on industry benchmarks, the assessor commented on Drusillas year on year improvement and high standards of quality and customer care,  stating: “This award winning attraction (Tourism South East’s Visitor Attraction of the Year 2010/11) certainly deserves every accolade that it has received.”

VAQAS stands for Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme; it is a consumer focused assessment service which operates nationally for all types of attractions to assess the visitor experience provided.

Making an unannounced visit, an assessor carries out an annual review which can be made at anytime the attraction is open to the public. Each visit is followed by an assessment report and if successful, the accreditation of Quality Assured Visitor Attraction is bestowed together with the associated kudos.

Visiting on Tuesday 31st May, an assessor anonymously reviewed all aspects of Drusillas including the website, telephone system, signage, marketing literature, car park, buildings, layout, facilities and attractions, as well as staff and customer service.

The subsequent report concluded: “Drusillas Park offered the visitor an overall excellent quality experience once again and with the new walk-through aviary adding to the already excellent range of content found within the Park which ensures a fun, educational and exciting experience is had by visitors of all ages.”

The Assessor added: “Drusillas Park once again fully merits the award of Visit England’s accreditation of Quality Assured Visitor Attraction.”

Managing Director, Laurence Smith responded: “We are delighted with the outcome and are especially pleased with the comments made about our brand new close encounters exhibit, Lory Landing.”

“The assessor visited us on a relatively busy day during the half term school holidays and the feedback we received was excellent, praising standards of presentation, cleanliness and the professionalism and friendliness of our staff. This glowing report, in addition to our success at the South East Tourism Awards is really outstanding and a true testament to quality of our attraction.”

Heart FM Winners Enjoy VIP Day at Drusillas Park

20 Apr

Six local children aged between 7 and 12 years, have attended a VIP day out at Drusillas Park with their families, after winning a competition on local radio station, Heart FM.

Charlie Pope, Owen Trewin, Courtney Emmeney, Gabriella Olding, George Backler and Lucy Evans were the six lucky winners who enjoyed a special day out at the zoo on 19th April, after guessing the animal name bleeped out of a well-known song. 

During the day, the families were greeted by Heart Breakfast presenters Tom, Lynsey and Jack and enjoyed lunch in Explorers Café Restaurant. Each of the winners also experienced one of DrusillasPark’s new Close Encounter experience, getting up close and personal to some of the zoo’s furry and feathered favourites

Charlie Pope feeding the racoons at Drusillas

DrusillasPark’s Head of Marketing Cassandra Poland commented: “The Close Encounters are a great way to learn a little more about them from the keepers that look after them. It’s been a great day and we hope all the families have enjoyed it as much as we have.”