Tag Archives: Family Day Out

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.”


Chestnut Tree House Visits Sussex Zoo

27 Sep

A group of young people from Chestnut Tree House have enjoyed a complimentary day out at award-winning Drusillas Park. The visit took place on Saturday as part of the charity’s Fun and Friendship Youth Group outings.

Chestnut Tree House is the only hospice for children in Sussex and Drusillas Park’s Charity of the Year. Families are never charged for their care and the charity receives little government funding, so relies almost entirely on the help and support of the community to raise the £2.5 million required to provide its services.

During their visit, the group encountered a host of furry and feathered creatures along the zoo route including the resident meerkats, penguins and lemurs. They also enjoyed some close animal encounters in the new walk through aviary, Lory Landing.

Activity and Buddy Co-ordinator, Trisha Cullingford commented: “Our young people have varied disabilities and complex needs and the sight, sound and smell experience of Drusillas was an excellent activity for them.”

“We spent time looking and interacting with the animals and some of our young people went on the train. A couple fed the parrots and one said ‘that was the best thing ever’. Another member of our group sat for ages captivated by a lemur eating and feeding.”

“We were looked after very well, nothing was too much trouble for the staff; they were really friendly and helpful.”

Family Fun before the Kids Go Back to School

23 Aug

No summer is complete without a visit to Drusillas Park; the South East’s Visitor Attraction of the Year. With plenty still to see and do during the holidays, it’s well worth a visit before the kids go back to school.

Join in the excitement and snorts of laughter tomorrow 24th August as Peppa Pig makes her last appearance with her brother George. The Fat Controller himself will also be causing a locomotion when he alights at the Park on 25th August.

Plus there’s all the usual animal magic on offer. Drusillas offers an opportunity to get nose to nose with nature with hundreds of exotic animals from monkeys and crocodiles to penguins and meerkats. Get up close and personal to the lemurs in Lemurland or feed nectar to a friendly flock of rainbow lorikeets in the new parrot aviary, Lory Landing. 

However, animals are only half the fun. The state-of-the-art attraction, Go Wild! combines a multi-levelled labyrinth of adventure play and the interactive maze,Eden’s Eye, takes visitors on an adventure style quest. Indoors there is Amazon Adventure, a state-of-the-art soft play complex and the Thomas & Friends™ train offers unlimited rides all year round.

Penguins Perfect Performance

10 Aug

The Eastbourne airshow ‘Airbourne’  isn’t the only place people can see a close formation team this weekend. The penguin squadron at Drusillas Park will also be putting on some impressive displays including wing-overs, barrel rolls and the rare 14 bird delta formation demonstrated in this photo!




Perfect Day Out for School

3 Aug

Over 70 nursery pupils from The Brook School in Maidenbower, Crawley have enjoyed a day out at Drusillas, after their play area was vandalised. The complimentary visit took place on at the end of July and was arranged by the award winning visitor attraction with the help of Heritage Travel, who provided free coach transportation for the day.

Drusillas Park’s Managing Director, Laurence Smith commented: “We were shocked when we saw the damage caused at the school in the local paper and wanted to arrange a treat for the children and a fun day out. We welcome a lot of school parties to the zoo each year and students from The Brook School have visited us on several occasions. Hopefully the trip will go some way to compensate for being deprived of their own playground whilst repair work was underway.”

The vandals are believed to have targeted the play area used by the youngest students at The Brook School late on Sunday 26th June, causing an estimated £500 worth of damage. Although nothing was stolen, the play area had to be closed for a week during the cleanup operation causing both upset and distress to the pupils aged 3, 4 and 5 years old.

As one of the foremost operators of group travel in South East England, Drusillas Park contacted Heritage Travel who were only too happy to help. Providing a 79 seat luxury coach from their fleet of over 40 vehicles, they agreed to transport the children to and from the zoo.

Andrew Grimes from Heritage Travel commented: “For over thirty years, Heritage has been providing coach hire for hundreds of East and West Sussex schools and the schools have in turn provided jobs for many drivers, mechanics and suppliers over the years. When we heard that the school had been so badly vandalised, especially in these days of government cutbacks to the public sector, it was the least we could do to put something back.”

“As a community based company we firmly believe that our relationship with schools and the society in which we operate is a reciprocal one and we do what we can as we feel we have a responsibility to not only all our school clients but the community as a whole.”

During the visit, the children encountered a host of furry and feathered creatures along the zoo route, including the resident meerkats, penguins and some close animal encounters in the new walk through rainbow lorikeet aviary, Lory Landing. There was also time for the children to explore the play areas and take a ride on the Thomas & Friends™ train, before returning back to school.

Reception Teacher, Gemma Clark commented: “This has been the most wonderful treat for the children and staff. You have reassured us that there are still kind people out there and shown the children that not everyone is mean. Thank you for this amazing day; we can’t wait to bring children in years to come.”

Things to do with the Kids this Summer

12 Jul

This summer get ready to soak up the fun at Drusillas; the South East’s Visitor Attraction of the Year. It’s the perfect place to occupy your little monkeys during the school holidays, with over 100 different animal species, a large adventure play area, a Thomas & Friends™ train ride and a diary jammed-packed with events.

Test out your skills against the extraordinary talents of the animal kingdom at the Zoolympics Challenge Day on Tuesday 26th July or visit on Wednesday 27th July and meet Ben & Holly from the Little Kingdom. 

August heralds the start of Peppa Pig month at Drusillas when this cheeky favourite will be making appearances on eight different dates! Join in the excitement and snorts of laughter as the lovable Peppa embarks on another adventure with her brother George on 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th, 23rd and 24th August. The Fat Controller himself will also be causing a locomotion when he alights at the Park to oversee the running of the Thomas & Friends™ railway on 1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd August.

Plus there’s all the usual animal magic. Drusillas offers an opportunity to get nose to nose with nature with hundreds of exotic animals from monkeys and crocodiles to penguins and meerkats.

The large themed paddling pool, Explorer’s Lagoon is the perfect place to relax on warm and sunny days and Go Wild! Go Bananas! and Amazon Adventure are paradise for anyone who needs to let off steam. Don’t miss close encounters in Lemurland or the brand new walk-through parrot aviary – Lory Landing.

Children Enjoy Dreamnight at the Zoo

28 Jun

Over 500 guests enjoyed a magical evening at the zoo at the beginning of June as Drusillas Park hosted their first ever Dreamnight, exclusively for chronically ill and disabled children in the region to enjoy with their families. 

Dreamnight is a charity event which takes place around the world on the first Friday of June. Each zoo organises the evening in their own way but in all cases the children are welcomed as VIPs.

At Drusillas guests were greeted by Deputy Lieutenant Michael Ann OBE, Stephen Lloyd MP, Mayor of Seaford Councillor Linda Wallraven, Mayor of Lewes Councillor John Stockdale, Mayor of Newhaven Councillor Steve Saunders, Deputy Mayor of Peacehaven Councillor Elayne Merry and the Chairman of East Sussex County Council, Chris Dowling.

Special events during the evening included a guest appearance from popular Cbeebies character Driver Dan, creepy crawly encounters with The British Tarantula Society and performances from Circus Take-Away’s Nick Huckleberry Beak.  There were also late night keeper talks and encounters, face painting, the rare opportunity to see the animals after hours as well as a Sausage Sizzle on the patio with food supplied by Heathfield Meats and 3663.

The Park was decorated with contributions from Newhaven Balloonatic and Rare Displays and Tansleys of Seaford provided a souvenir programme for each guest. Each child also received a gift, supported by a large number of generous donations.

Drusillas Park’s Managing Director Laurence Smith commented: “We are delighted to be able to provide this opportunity for children who may not otherwise be able to visit the zoo during our usual opening hours.”

“Everyone has volunteered their time and services to bring about this special evening. We have also had a great deal of support from local businesses, suppliers and other individuals for which we are incredibly grateful.”