Drusillas Park near Alfriston are overjoyed to announce the safe arrival of their ape-solutely adorable newest zoo born – a critically endangered Sulawesi crested macaque baby.

The Zoo team are elated to confirm that the cheeky babe, born on 22nd June to mum Kera and dad Moteck, is perfectly healthy, happy and headstrong, as it starts to brave life outside of the protective hold of its mother. The super cute infant has been delighting visitors this week by trying out some climbing, swinging, tumbling… and falling!

Black crested macaques are known for their jet black hair, striking amber eyes, and bright pink bottoms – although the youngest member of the Drusillas macaque troop will not develop these physical attributes for some months, and visitors should look out for a sweet hairless pink face this summer.

Head Zookeeper, Gemma Romanis, commented: “We are chuffed to bits to confirm that both mum and baby are making excellent progress, and we are starting to see baby out and about bravely exploring. Kera is a brilliant mother; she was a total natural with her first born, Mango – who was born at Drusillas three years ago – and she’s proving herself once again with the new little one. We are really proud of Moteck too; it is great to see him getting really stuck in as a dad again.”

The Sulawesi black crested macaque is categorised as critically endangered in the wild, and is one of over 20 different endangered and rare species living at the East Sussex Zoo. Sadly the macaque population has declined by 80% over the last 40 years. The principal threat to their survival is over-hunting for meat. In Indonesia the macaque is considered a delicacy, and is often served for special occasions. Deforestation is another major threat to the species, with large areas of their habitat now being cleared for coconut plantations, garden plots and roads.

“As well as being totally adorable, the cause for celebration is that much more when we successfully breed a critically endangered species at Drusillas.” Continued Gemma, “The healthy arrival of this pair’s second baby provides a crucial boost for the macaque population, and we’re all really proud to play our part in keeping this beautiful primate from extinction.”

“Our visitors chose Mango’s name back in 2018, so we’d like to carry on the tradition and call on our supporters to find a name for his sibling” Gemma continued, “we haven’t confirmed the sex of the baby yet, so perhaps another ‘fruity’ name would work well!”

Drusillas is asking their supporters for name suggestions on social media. Details of how to add your suggestion, alongside photos and videos of the pink-faced tot can be found on the Park’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/drusillaspark.

Many of the animals at Drusillas are involved in breeding programmes, often monitored by studbook keepers, to ensure the future survival of the species. Primates in particular are a cause for concern due to the threat of extinction in the wild. Drusillas is proud to be doing their part to safeguard the species and ensure that these amazing monkeys do not become extinct.

Located just off the A27 in Alfriston, Drusillas Park is open daily from 10am. For more information please telephone 01323 874100 or visit www.drusillas.co.uk