Baby monkeys go bananas for their first Christmas

Keeping a watchful eye ...
Keeping a watchful eye ...

Drusillas Park at Alfriston might have been closed to the public on Christmas Day, but the zoo was still bustling with activity as keepers made sure their animal residents had a special occasion.

There was plenty of time for monkeying around in the marmoset enclosure, as three-month-old common marmoset twins, Pumpkin and Spice, celebrated their first ever Christmas at Drusillas.

Exhausted new parents, Jasmine and Abu, were given an early wake-up call from the troublesome twosome.

Keepers treated the cheeky monkeys to a generous festive lunch. The little family managed to polish off a large helping of all their favourite foods, including chicory, carrots, courgettes, root vegetables, sweet potato and sweetcorn. They were also given an extra portion of tamarind cake sprinkled with a few tasty insects.

Zoo Manager Sue Woodgate said: “Our lovely common marmoset family had a very relaxed and contented Christmas. They wolfed down the platter of veggies they were given for lunch, and tucked in happily to the marmoset gum they were given for dinner.

“Marmoset gum is an artificial substitute for tree sap. It forms a really important part of their diet. In the wild marmosets would dig into trees to retrieve the sap, so we mimic this wild behaviour with the gum substitute.”