Endangered monkey gives birth

The baby male is doing well
The baby male is doing well
  • Population has dropped 80 per cent in last 40 years
  • Served as a delicacy on special occasions
  • Baby male part of European breeding programme

A critically endangered monkey has been born at Drusillas Park as part of a European breeding programme.

The baby male is doing well under the guidance of parents Kendari and Moteck – the zoo’s resident Sulawesi crested black macaques.

These large monkeys are very distinctive due to their bright pink bottoms and punk-style hair.

They are native to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, where the population has dropped by more than 80 per cent in the last 40 years.

As a result, they are regarded as critically endangered by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources).

They are also the most endangered of the seven macaque species that live on the northern peninsula of Sulawesi.

This is mainly due to loss of habitat and hunting pressure – they are served as a delicacy on special occasions such as weddings. They now face a very real threat of extinction in the wild.

The baby’s older brother Tambo and cousin Kamala also live at the zoo and the youngsters are keen to get to know the new arrival.

They have been trying to entice the baby away from his mum but Kendari remains cautiously protective. She will carry her infant for the next four to five months, nursing him for at least a year.

Breeding programmes such as the ones at Drusillas Park operate throughout the zoo community, in conjunction with the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria.

By co-operating in this way, animal collections hope to safeguard the existence of many animal species, in order to secure their survival in the future.

Located just off the A27, Drusillas Park is open daily from 10am. For more information, please telephone 01323 874100 or visit the website www.drusillas.co.uk.

For more information on the world’s endangered species, visit www.icun.org.