Tag Archives: Monkeys at the Zoo

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.”

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.

Cool-obus Monkeys Arrive at Drusillas Park

2 Mar

Four fantastic black-and-white colobus monkeys have arrived at Drusillas and are settling in well and getting to know the ropes. The troop is led by head boy Elgon who is joined at the zoo by females Opet, Isis and Hathor.

Head Keeper, Mark Kenward commented: “This is the first time we have looked after this species at Drusillas so it is very exciting for our staff as well as our visitors.”

“They are a lovely group and we are really pleased with how quickly they have adjusted to their new environment. They are starting to recognise the keepers that work with them and the three girls in particular are displaying a confident bounce in their step.”

These large primates are highly arboreal; springing into action they use their elongated limbs to leap from branch to branch. In contrast to their black bodies, a long white mane hangs like a cape from their shoulders as they perform a hair-raising display of jumps and lunges.

Luckily these treetop travellers have a stomach for heights; in fact it could be said they have several! Their enlarged and complex digestion system is made up of four separate stomach chambers which helps them break down their diet of leaves, flowers and fruit.

Colobus monkeys live in family groups of up to 20 animals, often consisting of one male, several females and their young. They usually have one baby at a time which is covered in white hair when born. 

In the wild, Colobus monkeys inhabit the forests of central Africa where their numbers have fallen due to habitat destruction and hunting. The group at Drusillas is part of a breeding programme and hopefully it will not be too long before there’s a new branch to the family tree.

Cheeky Monkeys Enjoy Valentine’s Treat

14 Feb

Love was in the air for some cheeky monkeys at Drusillas Park  on Monday 14th February, as zoo keepers served up their meals in heart shaped hampers to get them in the mood for Valentine’s Day.

The colourful wicker wreaths were offered to the zoo’s Sulawesi black crested macaques crammed full of their favourite foods. These were posted around the enclosure as a romantic meal with a difference, which the monkeys revelled at and explored in a heart-beat.

This unusual delivery was made as part of the zoo’s enrichment programme, which ensures a diverse diet is enjoyed in imaginative and unusual ways. Enrichment is carried out within all the enclosures on a daily basis to encourage the animals to work a little harder for their food as they would in the wild.

Zoo Manager, Sue Woodgate commented: “The hearts made an ideal Valentine treat for the monkeys; they spent a great deal of time delving under the wicker and extracting the goodies and really enjoyed investigating the unusual findings.”

“The macaques have not been together all that long. We hope our romantic dinner will go some way towards introducing a little love onto the menu too.”

These large crested macaques are native to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi where they are critically endangered. The group at Drusillas were introduced in 2010 as part of the European breeding programme and so far Cupid’s arrow has landed right on target.

Since arriving from Monkey Park in Israel last November, head boy Moteck has been making a huge impression on macaque sisters Kendari and Jude. Moteck, which means sweetie in Hebrew, has been living up to his name with his two new honeys going completely bananas over him, happily sharing their Valentine hearts!

The gentle macaque has also bonded well with the two youngest members of the group, Pendola and Kamala born 26th April and 10th May respectively. These little monkeys are becoming cheekier by the day as they develop the distinctive bright pink bottoms indicative of this species. These are used as cushions, for the macaques to rest on branches and other uneven surfaces and fittingly the babies’ behinds are currently the shape of a perfectly formed heart.

However, the macaques were not the only animals to receive the novelty nibbles at the zoo. Many other animals also received the heart shaped hampers, including the Park’s rummaging racoons. Whiskers-crossed, they will have the required effect and drive the animals wild with desire, proving the perfect Valentine’s gift.

Adopt one of the cheeky macaques by visiting the adoption page of the Drusillas website.

Watch the monkeys and racoons in action on the Drusillas Park YouTube page