Drusillas Park

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.

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

Beaver 3

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

Lovebird Chick 1

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

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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.

Baby face 2


Photo Credits: Drusillas Park Zoo

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Wooly White Baby Colobus Arrives at Drusillas Park


The UK's Drusillas Park is celebrating the arrival of a baby Colobus monkey - the first to be bred at the Zoo. The little scamp was born on November 18 and is looking extremely alert alongside parents, Elgon and Isis. Born covered in wooly white fur resembleing a lamb, it will be approximately six months before the baby develops the black and white color like the adults.

The new arrival is being closely guarded by mom but will become increasingly confident over the coming weeks. These large black and white monkeys live in family groups of up to 20, which often consist of a male and several females plus their young. They usually have one baby at a time. 

This family group was re-homed to the zoo at the beginning of the year from Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent. In the wild, they inhabit the forests of central Africa where they are threatened by habitat destruction and hunting. Colobus monkeys are highly arboreal, travelling through the treetops using their elongated arms and legs to spring from branch to branch. A long mane hangs from their shoulders like a cape as they perform hair-raising displays of jumps and lunges. 

The colobus monkeys at Drusillas Park are part of a European breeding program. Hopefully, the family tree will continue to grow at the zoo for many years to come.

Colobus Fam

Colobus Mon
Photo Credits: Photo 1: Vic Sharratt, Photos 2, 3: Drusillas Park Zoo

So Many Little Faces! Baby Monkey Boom at Drusillas Park

Emperor Tamarins.

Drusillas Park in the UK is currently in the midst of a baby boom with a multitude of mini monkeys popping up around the Park!  The monkey madness started when Emperor tamarin, Lucy gave birth to the twins pictured above. This species takes its name from the 19th Century Emperor, Wilhelm II of Germany, whom they are said to resemble on account of their distinctive moustaches. The fan-tash-stic pair are becoming more independent everyday and can now be seen playing with their older siblings. 

Two silvery marmosets were next to make an appearance (below). The pearl coloured pair were born on August 28 and are thriving under the watchful guidance of proud parents Captain Jack and Hester. Silvery marmosets are native to the forests of Central and South America and usually give birth to twins every five to six months. 


More monkey madness below the fold...

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Feisty Fennec Fox Kits for Drusillas Park

The UK's Drusillas Park in East Sussex is currently debuting its second litter of Fennec Foxes in six months. The twins (one male and one female) who are not yet named were born on July 23rd and are thriving under the watchful guidance of proud parents Mali and Tabari.  They have now taken their first steps and are just starting to explore the environment outside the nest box.




Photo Credits: Drusillas Park


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