Critically endangered babies, rainbow babies, babies having babies, and babies we haven’t seen for over a decade – Drusillas Zoo near Alfriston are celebrating a boom of adorable ‘zoo borns’ in recent months, after the healthy arrival of some seriously cute little ones!
Visitors coming to the Zoo over the summer can look out for several species of cheeky baby monkeys, a sweet little meerkat, playful prairie dog pups, and the zoo’s first capybara infant in 11 years.
Born on 6th May, the Sussex Zoo welcomed two critically endangered cotton-top tamarins, born just in time for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. They marked the occasion by giving the twins fittingly royal names in honour of HM Queen Elizabeth II – Queenie and Duke. The twins are thriving under the care of seasoned parents Florencia and Pasto and are just starting to venture off mum and dad’s backs and can be seen tumbling and climbing on their own.
On 7th June keepers were thrilled to discover a tiny red-handed tamarin monkey peering out at them – a particularly special discovery as parents Isla and Kiwa sadly lost their first new born last year, making this a precious rainbow baby. The youngster has been winning hearts with its sweet habit of curiously tilting its head back and forth at all the visitors.
Some of the Zoo’s favourite residents, the meerkats, have also welcomed a new addition born to mum Tamu and dad Tyson on 22nd May. Visitors experiencing meerkat close encounters are enjoying nose-to-nose moments with the littlest member of the pack who is happily joining in clambering on laps and taking treats.
Seeing your babies have their own babies is always a truly memorable time, so keepers are over the moon to see squirrel monkey Edme, born three years ago at Drusillas herself,
welcome her first baby on 5th July. The first-time mum is already proving to be a natural and the adorable, pink-faced baby can be seen clinging sweetly to her everywhere she goes.
A little earlier this year in spring came the arrival of six prairie dog pups, all happy and healthy, and delighting visitors with their playful antics, popping up from their burrows with the cutest little puppy tails.
And for the first time in 11 years, the zoo announced the arrival of a capybara baby on 22nd June, to first-time parents Clementine and Augustus. The Park asked the public to name the baby girl on social media, and chose to name her Satsuma (‘Suma’ for short) from the thousands of suggestions they received.
Head Keeper, Gemma Romanis, commented: “It feels like there are babies everywhere we look! Maybe there’s something in the water at the moment, as it’s evident our animals have been… keeping busy.”
Gemma continued, “It’s one of the best parts of our jobs seeing successful births, especially when we see arrivals from critically endangered species, or when animals we have raised become parents themselves. We can’t confirm anything yet, but I have a feeling there might be even more new little faces to meet this year. I have my fingers firmly crossed for the pitter patter of more paws and claws!”