Fota welcomes two new monkeys to its Wildlife Park

Fota welcomes two new monkeys to its Wildlife Park
Fota Wildlife Park today announced the arrival of a pair of Drill monkeys (Mandrillus leucophaeus) Pic: Sinead Donnachie

Fota have welcomed two new Drill Monkeys to the Wildlife Park, as part of the international co-operative breeding programme.

Closely related to the Mandrills and Baboon family, 22-year-old male Julian and female 28-year-old Buddy came from Stuttgart Zoo in February.

A new purpose-built "Drill house" has helped Julian and Buddy settle into their new home, which has now been opened up for the public to view.

Drills are large animals, with the males weighing around 33 kgs, they are powerfully built with large canine teeth and feature a range of colours such as lilac, blue, pink and purple on their rumps.

A pair of Drill monkeys arrived in Fota in February as part of an international co-operative breeding programme. Pic: Sinead Donnachie
A pair of Drill monkeys arrived in Fota in February as part of an international co-operative breeding programme. Pic: Sinead Donnachie

They're among Africa's most endangered mammals and listed by the ICUN as the highest conservation priority of all African primates.

Speaking about the two newest additions, Lead Ranger Teresa Power said about the new arrivals “Currently this stunning looking pair of Drills are adapting really well, and their transfer and arrival couldn’t have gone any better really."

"The house here has been specially designed for this species with the heating set at a temperature of 20 degrees. We are refurbishing their island where they will have outdoor access to one of the largest Islands in Fota with trees and climbing platforms."

"They will be joined soon by three females from Bristol Zoo and we hope to integrate them all into one breeding group. As Buddy was hand reared, she carries her teddy bear with her for comfort and our Rangers are working to develop a special bond with her to make her feel at home."

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