Drusillas Park

Baby Sloth Worth the Wait

Sloth Baby at Drusillas Park3
A baby Sloth born at Great Britain’s Drusillas Park is the first ever born in the zoo’s 91-year history.

The little Linne’s Two-toed Sloth was born to female Sidone and her mate Sophocles on March 26. Zoo keepers had been anxiously awaiting the birth, and were thrilled to find the baby on their early morning rounds.

Sloth Baby at Drusillas Park
Sloth Baby at Drusillas Park2Photo Credit:  Drusillas Park

Though this species of Sloth is not rare in the wild, births are not common in zoos.  In the past year, only four were born in the United Kingdom and just 27 were born worldwide.

Because Sidone was hand-reared as a youngster, keepers were concerned that she would lack mothering skills.  However, Sidone is proving to be an excellent mother to her new baby.

Sidone and Sophocles were introduced in January 2014, and like all Sloth activities, they took their time getting to know each other.  After a ten-month gestation period, their baby finally arrived.

Linne’s Two-toed Sloths are native to northern South America’s rain forests, where they spend nearly all their lives in the treetops.  Sloths are specially adapted to eat, sleep, and mate while hanging upside-down from a branch.  They descend to the ground only to defecate and move to a tree that cannot be reached from their home tree.


Reluctant Red Panda Gets the Perfect Name


Drusillas Park, in East Sussex UK, shared news of the birth of a Red Panda this summer. The female cub was born July 17th and is the third to be born at the zoo since 2013.

Mum has looked after the cub in the safety and privacy of their nest box. Although some have been lucky enough to see mum, Mulan, transporting her cub between nesting houses.


3_DrusillasPark_RedPanda_ShylaPhoto Credits: Tammy Smith (Images 1,2,3) / Drusillas Park (4)

Head Keeper, Mark Kenward commented after the cub’s birth, “The Red Pandas have three separate nest boxes, and Mulan will move the baby from one to another, carrying her by the scruff of the neck, so she benefits from the most suitable environment.”

“Mulan is proving to be an excellent mother once again. For the first two days, she remained with her cub approximately 90% of the time. However, after a few days this dropped to around 60%, which is exactly what we would expect of this species.”

Drusillas Park has given the bashful new Red Panda a befitting name-- Shyla.

For the last four months Shyla has been hiding away within one of the group’s three nest boxes.

Visitors enjoy regular sightings of the panda puff as she pops her head out the hide away hole. However, despite multiple attempts by mum Mulan to encourage her out, the cozy cub cannot be tempted.

Zoo Manager, Sue Woodgate commented, “Shyla is yet to take those all-important first–steps exploring her enclosure, playing with her sister and meeting our visitors. We have no doubt she will appear in her own good time – her older sister Anmar also took a little while to venture out but you can’t stop her now. Fingers crossed Shyla will follow in her footsteps very soon; I am sure it will be worth the wait.”

The name Shyla was chosen from nearly 200 suggestions, made by followers, on the Drusillas Park Facebook page. Staff thought it a fitting moniker for the ‘peekaboo panda’. 

As with the Giant Panda, female Red Pandas are only fertile for just one day a year and can delay implantation until conditions are favorable. They give birth to between one and four young at a time, and the cubs are born with pale fluffy fur, which darkens to the distinctive red coloration of the adults over the first three months.

In the wild, the Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) inhabits the Himalayan mountains of China, India and Nepal, where they are threatened by habitat destruction and hunting. They are currently classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

This is the second time Drusillas Park has welcomed Red Panda babies since Mulan’s arrival in 2013. On June 16, 2015, she gave birth to mixed-sex twins, the first of this species to be born at the Zoo throughout their 90 year history.

4_DrusillasPark_RedPanda_Shyla_with Mum

Red Pandas Born at Drusillas Park, UK Residents Can Enter To Win Cool ZooBorns Prizes, Park Tickets and More!


It’s panda-monium at Drusillas Park in East Sussex following the birth of two Red Panda babies; the first of their kind to be born in the zoo’s 89 year history!
As with the Giant Panda, female Red Pandas are only fertile for just one day a year and can delay implantation until conditions are favorable. Red Pandas give birth to between one and four young at a time and the cubs are born with pale fluffy fur.


Mulan with the red panda babies


This week we have teamed up with the lovely people from Drusillas Park to offer UK residents the chance to win some FANTASTIC PRIZES! All you need to do is LIKE AND SHARE both Drusillas' Facebook page and ZooBorns' Facebook page! The prizes up for grabs this time are.....#drumroll.....


Good luck to all of those who enter! THE COMPETITION IS OPEN TO UK RESIDENTS ONLY!

Drusillas Celebrates the Owl-rival of Two Cheeky Chicks!


Two Snowy Owls have hatched at Drusillas Park and have been turning heads at the award winning zoo in East Sussex.

The little hoots were discovered by keepers on June 12th and 14th and are making excellent progress. The chicks are the first to be successfully reared at the zoo in over 15 years and staff are delighted.






Fluffy and grey, the tiny snow-balls currently bear a greater resemblance to ugly ducklings. However, as new feathers replace the down, the birds will gradually turn lighter and eventually develop the stunning white plumage of their parents. 

In the wild, these beautiful birds inhabit the chilly skies above the Arctic, where temperatures are incredibly low and snow is common. Pairs generally mate for life and build nests at ground level, laying up to 11 eggs at a time.

Proud parents, Zapper and Zephyr were introduced at Drusillas Park in 2008, after winging their way from Drayton Manor and Linton Zoo respectively. Both of them have been looking after the chicks, who are dependent on them for food and care for approximately 7 weeks. 

Help Name Beaver Kits at Drusillas Park Zoo

10457759_854289861264966_5337944449843736695_oTwo North American Beaver kits were born at the United Kingdom’sDrusillas Park Zoo.

The babies, both males, are healthy and growing fast!  The zoo invites fans to suggest names for the kits on its Facebook page.

1078762_854289794598306_7478114597607814494_oPhoto Credit:  Drusillas Park Zoo

Beavers are found near rivers and lakes throughout much of North America.  They are the world’s second-largest rodent species, after the Capybara.  Beavers use sticks to build dams on waterways, with a goal of providing a buffer zone of deep, quiet water as a defense against potential predators.  A lodge made of sticks, with an underwater entrance, is constructed in the middle of the deep water.   Pairs usually mate for life, and kits remain in the lodge for the first month of life.

Once hunted extensively for their fur, Beaver populations have fallen dramatically in the last century.  Today, however, efforts at restoring Beaver populations have been successful in some urban areas.  Though they can be destructive, Beaver dams help to establish wetlands that remove sediments and pollutants from the water. 

Baby Lemur Makes a Friend at Drusillas Park

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A three-month-old Black Lemur born at the United Kingdom’s Drusillas Park has made an unlikely friend: a Ring-Tailed Lemur named William.

Baby Black Lemur at Drusillas Park

Baby black lemur with mum Clementine at Drusillas Park

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Photo Credit:  Drusillas Park

The baby and his adopted “Uncle William” have a unique relationship, with William being very protective of the little Lemur.  As the baby becomes more independent, he spends less time with his mother and more time playing with William.

Zoo keepers recently confirmed that the baby, born in April, is a male. Now that they know the baby’s gender, keepers will soon give him a name.

The gender of a Black Lemur becomes evident over time due to the strong sexual dimorphism in this species. Males are all black with striking orange eyes, and females are brown with long whitish ear tufts. After weeks of speculation, there is now no doubt that the baby is a boy.

In the wild, Black Lemurs are native to the Island of Madagascar, where they live in the forest regions of the north. Although they are primates, they are not considered monkeys or apes; instead they are prosimians, which means ‘before the monkey’.

The population of Black Lemurs is declining in the wild due to habitat destruction and hunting. They are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

See more photos below the fold.

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Baby Beavers Born Just in Time for Father's Day!

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One special dad celebrated at the UK's Drusillas Park this past Sunday (Father’s Day) after becoming a father for the very first time.  North American Beaver Gnasher saw his two kits born on June 5. Since then the proud pop has barely left their side. The babies are already mini replicas of him, with tiny webbed feet, flat tails, and semi-developed incisors. For now they remain within the safety of the lodge, but in no time they will be taking their first swimming lessons with Gnasher paddling alongside.

Head Keeper Mark Kenward commented: “It’s always difficult to know how an animal will cope with becoming a parent for the first time but in Gnasher’s case there really was no need to worry. From the moment the kits were born, he has protected and cared for them and even cut the umbilical cord with his teeth. He has proven himself to be a fantastic dad and deserves to be thoroughly spoilt this Father's Day.”

 Beaver 1

Beaver 4

Photo Credit: Drusillas Park

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Baby Sholo Goes Solo at Drusillas Park


Gibbons have a reputation as the trapeze artists of the animal kingdom. They are able to glide up to almost 40 feet (12 meters) through the air using their elongated arms to move from branch to branch in an effortless motion. Born in December 2011 at Drusillas Park in the UK, this young Lar Gibbon named Sholo is just a quarter of the size of the adults, but that doesn’t stop him from asserting his independence. Over the last few weeks he has started branching out alone and getting into the swing of life at the zoo. Following in the arm-steps of many Gibbons before him, Sholo is developing his skills, moving between the trees and ropes in his habitat -- although mom Tali never lets him get too far away.

Throughout the early years, Gibbon babies remain dependent on their mothers for both warmth and food. Sholo will be nursed for up to two years and will not reach full maturity until the age of eight. But since May, Sholo has been feeding himself little amounts of food; grapes seem to be a particular favorite. Lar Gibbons mostly eat fruit, leaves, flowers and seeds, but they will also eat small animals in the wild. 

Lar Gibbons are found throughout the forests of Southeast Asia, where populations are threatened mainly due to hunting and loss of habitat. They live in family groups and are monogamous, mating for life. 

Photo Credits: Ian Standivan

Rainbow Feathered Lovebird Chicks Hatch on Valentine's Day

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Love is in the air at the UK's Drusillas Park after four baby Black-cheeked Lovebirds hatched on Valentines Day! The birds are so named due to the obvious devotion between the male and female pairs. They mate for life and preen each other’s feathers -- a labor of love.

In an effort to egg on the romance, Head Keeper Mark Kenward has been playing Cupid over the last 18 months, monitoring the birds’ behavior and making changes to their diet and husbandry. During this time the zoo also enlisted the help of students from St Bede’s School to create bespoke boxes for the birds to nest-le up in. Their efforts finally paid off when zoo keepers made the happy discovery of four tiny tweets at the end of January. 

Mr Kenward said: “We routinely check the nest boxes every Monday and were over the moon to see the chicks within. All of the babies are doing well and we hope they will be the first of many. It’s a real feather in our cap to have bred these beautiful and rare birds, and to receive our special delivery for Valentine’s Day seems a very fitting tribute to lovebirds everywhere.”

These colourful birds are native to Zambia and are Africa’s most endangered parrot.

Lovebird pair
Photo Credit: Drusillas Park

Learn more about Lovebird breeding after the jump:

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His Name is Tambo! Baby Black Crested Macaque at Drusillas Park

Baby Face

A critically endangered monkey has been born at the UK's Drusillas Park, as part of the European breeding program. The Sulawesi Black Crested macaque was delivered on October 25 and staff are delighted. Parents Kendari and Moteck were introduced at Drusillas in 2010, after being re-homed respectively from Chester Zoo and Monkey Park in Israel. The new arrival is the couple’s first baby together and hopefully will be one of many more to come.

These large impressive monkeys have just one baby at a time, born with a pink face which darkens with age. So far the baby boy, just named Tambo after the Zoo's naming contest, is thriving alongside Mom and Dad. He will remain very dependent for the next four to five months, clinging to his mother who will nurse him for at least a year. 

Zoo Manager, Sue Woodgate commented: “It is wonderful to see the new addition to our macaque family. He is showing a lot of interest in his surroundings and being doted on by his cousin Kamala who was born at Drusillas in 2010. We are expecting a lot of monkeying around from these two over the coming months.”

Black crested macaques are native to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi where they are now regarded as critically endangered by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). In the last 40 years it is estimated that the population has been reduced by more than 80% due to habitat loss and hunting pressure and they now face the very real threat of extinction in the wild.

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Photo Credits: Drusillas Park Zoo

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