Baby Boom for Zoo near Brighton
Award winning Sussex zoo is currently experiencing a population explosion, with keepers surrounded by the pitter-patter of tiny paws. Amongst the new baby bundles of fur and feather are three Humboldt penguin chicks, two red-handed tamarins, two fennec foxes, two emperor tamarins, four prairie dogs and two squirrel monkeys to name a few - plus there’s more expected over the coming weeks.
Three rare penguin chicks were the first to hatch in April and are making egg-cellent progress. The happy Humboldts have been slowly finding their flippers and waddling within the safety of the nest boxes. However following the moult of their fluffy down feathers, the new additions will gradually follow their parents’ webbed footprints out to the pool to experience their first swimming lessons.
Then it was the turn of the red-handed tamarins. Keepers made the happy discovery of twins on 17th April and both babies are doing well and prospering. Red-handed tamarins originate from the tropical rainforests of Brazil, Guyana, French Guinea and Surinam. They usually have two babies at a time which are carried by the father.
The next baby boomers to be delivered were two rare fennec foxes. The twins were born on 21st April and are thriving under the watchful guidance of proud parents, Mali
and Tabari. These cute canines are the smallest member of
the dog family and have distinctive oversized ears which can
grow up to 15cms long.
The monkey madness continued when Emperor tamarin, Lucy gave birth to twins on the 17th May. 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 two tiny tamarins are becoming more independent everyday and are doing fan-tash-stically well.
Four Baby Burrowers
On the 24th May, four baby prairie dogs popped up to say hello. These gorgeous gophers are underdogs in the literal sense of the word, living in complex underground burrows.
The fantastic four are thought to be approximately seven
weeks old and are having great fun exploring the world both
above and below ground level.
Finally, two baby squirrel monkeys were born at the zoo, arriving within days of each other on the 25th and 28th May. The two mini marvels are currently being carried around by their mothers, who they will remain dependent on for the next few weeks. However, in no time at all they will be exploring the treetops of Squirrel Monkey Island and driving the keepers bananas alongside their father, Little Boy.
Plus there are many new babies expected over the next few weeks with the flamingos, snowy owls and great grey owls all sitting on nests. They will join Adaeze, the black and white colobus monkey, Tambo the Sulawesi black crested macaque and a funky lar gibbon named Sholo, who were all
born at the zoo in 2011 and are still getting to know the ropes.
Zoo Manager, Sue Woodgate commented: “It is a fantastic time of year in the zoo with all the new babies. One of the penguin chicks has been out on the beach this week and the baby red-handed tamarins are starting to venture off Dad and explore their enclosure. The babies are all terrible time wasters; as Zoo Keepers we love to spend time observing the new arrivals and watching the group behaviours.”