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Stocking Up for Winter

Despite the fact it is only August, zoo keepers at Drusillas Park have been preparing for winter this week. They have been stocking up the freezers with boxes of leaves and browse to feed the zoo’s black and white colobus monkeys throughout the colder months. 

The colobus monkeys’ diet consists mainly of leaves, including willow, hazel, birch and hawthorn. Although there is a huge supply of each during the summer, the zoo team need to plan ahead to ensure lots of leafy leftovers later in the year.

Colobus monkeys are able to break down foliage due to their enlarged and complex digestive system. It works like that of a cow with three or four separate chambers and lots of bacteria; this process often gives them wind!

In the wild, black and white colobus monkeys inhabit the forests of central Africa, where they are threatened by habitat destruction and hunting. The group at Drusillas are part of the EAZA breeding programme and there have already been some new branches to the family tree following the birth of Adaeze in November 2011 and Makena in November 2012.

Attached Image – Section Leader, Debbie Iles (left), Zoo Manager, Sue Woodgate (centre) and Section Leader, Claudia Perryman (right) 

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