Drusillas Zoo Park near Alfriston are thrilled to announce the safe and healthy arrival of a new baby colobus monkey, and they are asking for help to name the gorgeous youngster!

The precious youngster was born on 13th October, to mum Adaeze and dad Maarten, and Keepers at the Zoo are delighted with how the adorable babe is thriving so far.

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 couple of 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.

The colobus Studbook is run by the City of Belfast zoo – in which Andrew Hope coordinates the species for the whole of Europe, including breeding and any moves that might be considered between Zoos. It was Andrew who recommended Drusillas take on Maarten three years ago.

Most striking about the baby at the moment is the distinct lack of colouring – babies are born pink, then quickly grow fluffy white fur, before developing the species’ distinctive black and white markings. Visitors to the Zoo this month have enjoyed spotting the pure white babe among the lively troop.

The new baby, who is yet to be sexed but looks likely to be female, is Maarten’s fifth child from two females, and siblings Kylo, Yoyo, Domino, and Romeo are delighting in helping teach the newest addition the cheeky ways of the colobus!

Third-time mum Adaeze is a wonderful parent, and can often be seen snuggling in with the new born. The infant does get stolen on occasions by her aunt Makena and 2 year old resident naughty boy Romeo. It does give Adaeze a break from motherly duties, but she doesn’t let them have the baby for long!

The group are currently enjoying the browse frozen down in the late summer deforest, which of course gives them fresh leaves to munch on.

There have only been around 40 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.

Gemma Romanis said “The newest offspring is doing exceptionally well, and we are really happy with how they are getting on. It’s so lovely to see them all interacting with the baby, as they learn all the important life skills.”

“We’re asking the public to help us think of a name that matches the theme we have going at the moment – so something ending in an ‘o’ would be great. Although we’re fairly confident it’s a girl, we’re not 100% sure of the gender yet, so we’d love to find a neutral name.”

If you’d like to submit a name for the newest addition, head over to the Zoo’s Facebook page where they have posted the story.

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