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Ape-solutely Adorable New Arrival!

Zoo’s Adorable New Arrival takes Monkey From ‘Lonely Hearts Loser’ to Dad of Six

Drusillas Zoo Park near Alfriston are thrilled to announce the safe and healthy arrival of a baby colobus monkey, whom they have named Pedro after one of their long-standing keepers.

The precious youngster was born on 8th April, to mum Makena and dad Maarten, and Keepers at the Zoo are delighted with how the adorable babe is thriving so far. 

Pedro is welcomed by siblings Kylo, Yoyo, Domino, Romeo, and Arlo – in keeping with the naming theme, keepers chose to name him after their colleague, Peter Holmes, who has worked at the zoo for over 22 years.

The new baby is Maarten’s sixth child from two females, but Maarten wasn’t always the accomplished dad he is today - when he first arrived at Drusillas from Rotterdam Zoo, he struggled with his confidence among the strong female characters, had a desperately unsuccessful love life, and was the only animal in the Zoo to have never been adopted. After Drusillas released a ‘lonely hearts’ advert for him a few years ago, Maarten gained his first adopters, his first girlfriend, a much-needed spring in his step, and his first baby was born in 2019.

Most striking about the baby at the moment is the distinct lack of colouring – babies are born completely pink, then grow fluffy white fur, before developing the species’ distinctive black and white markings and lush ‘cloak’ of fur. Visitors to the Zoo over the Easter period enjoyed spotting the pure white babe among the lively troop.

Third-time mum Makena is a wonderful parent and can often be seen protectively snuggling the newborn. The infant is on occasion stolen by his cheeky older siblings, which gives mum a break from her duties, but she doesn’t let them have the baby for long as they have a tendency to get a little carried away.

Head keeper, Gemma Romanis, said “Pedro is doing exceptionally well, and in fact is developing much faster than most youngsters his age – he has so many older siblings around him he seems to be picking things up really quickly. He’s already got the confidence to spend a little time off mum and we can see some black streaks already forming in his fur, so we’re very happy with how he is doing. It’s so lovely to watch the troop interacting with Pedro, they love taking turns holding him or grooming mum whilst she’s feeding, they are a super sweet family unit.”

“We were a little unsure about Maarten when he first came to us as he really lacked confidence so it’s such a turn around to see him transform into a super dad who leads his troop in a calm and fair way, we are very proud of him.”

There have only been around 24 colobus babies of this sub species to have been born in European zoos in last 12 months, and Drusillas’ Keepers are particularly fond of the troop.

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