Twelve months of animal magic at Drusillas

The youngest rock hyraxes discovered a novel method of transport in October
The youngest rock hyraxes discovered a novel method of transport in October

As Drusillas Park’s 90th anniversary year draws to a close, staff at the award-winning attraction at Alfriston have been reflecting on another busy year at the zoo.

Once again it has been an exciting 12 months filled with new arrivals, departures and plenty of animal magic; here are just some of the highlights of 2015.

January: Celebrating their 10th anniversary together, Lucy and Tiny Tim the emperor tamarins welcomed a new heir to their animal kingdom. The baby bundle was born on January 19 and is the couple’s ninth baby born at the Park.

February: The 2015 Animal Oscars gave recognition to a host of four-legged stars with the zoo’s very own ‘Mr Grey’, the Great Grey Owl, scooping ‘Best Leading Man’. He turned 50 shades of pink over all the attention.

March: The zoo’s critically endangered Sulawesi black crested macaques celebrated the arrival of bouncing baby boy on March 18. The group are part of the European breeding programme, created to secure the survival of the species in the future.

April: The celebrations continued in April with a new arrival in Lemurland. A female black lemur was born on April 2 and named after Princess Charlotte.

May: To celebrate the zoo’s 90th birthday, Drusillas hosted a tea party on May 13 for 90 90-year-olds from across the region.

June: Head Keeper Mark Kenward spent Father’s Day alongside squirrel monkey Little Boy who he hand reared at the Park 12 years ago.

July: Drusillas introduced Bactrian camels, Roxy and Lofty. The desert duo arrived on July 13 from Cotswold Wildlife Park.

August: A huntsman spider that travelled from Africa to Hampshire in a shipping container was rehomed to Drusillas. Zoo volunteer Olivia Cottrell also had a picture of Scar the lemur tattooed on her ankle.

September: The zoo’s patriotic ring-tailed lemurs flew the Union Jack flag in honour of Queen Elizabeth II, who became our longest-serving monarch.

October: The zoo’s three youngest rock hyraxes discovered a somewhat unconventional way of getting around, hitching a ride on the backs of the red-footed tortoises with whom they share an enclosure.

November: The unusually mild weather led to confusion amongst the zoo’s black-tailed prairie dogs, who failed to go in partial hibernation for winter.

December: Drusillas Park launched an appeal to find the owner of a well-loved toy bunny left at the zoo. The post received nearly 1,000 shares in the first 24 hours and the runaway rabbit was reunited with its one-year-old owner one week later.

The attraction anticipates that 2016 is set to be another bumper year with the opening of the new splash pad attraction Get Wet! and large renovation works to the serval enclosure.

Located just off the A27, Drusillas Park is open daily from 10am. For more information, please telephone 0132 3874100 or visit www.drusillas.co.uk

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