It’s finally time for mums in Eastbourne to sit back and relax as they prepare to be pampered by loved-ones this weekend. Today (26 March) is particularly special for Drusillas Park in Alfriston, as silvery marmoset, Monty, celebrates her first ever Mother’s Day.
Beautiful baby Bonny was born to loving parents Monty and Sixpence in December last year. The cheeky little monkeys have always been popular animals at the award-winning zoo, and visitors have been excitedly spotting tiny Bonny clinging to her parents’ backs as they bounce around their enclosure.
Head Keeper, Mark Kenward commented, “We are absolutely delighted to confirm that both mum and baby are making excellent progress and Monty has done a brilliant job as a first time mother; she is a total natural. We are really proud of Sixpence too; he was born here at the zoo back in 28 August 2011 so it is great to see him go on to become a dad himself. We will be spoiling the whole family with all their favourite treats this Mother’s Day.”
In the wild these playful monkeys can be found leaping through the trees in tropical rainforests and secondary forests in Brazil. Living in family groups of up to ten individuals, each group is led by a dominant male and female, and it is only this pair that will breed. The other marmosets in the group will then step up to the plate and help out by caring for the young.
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.
Sadly, like many other animals silvery marmosets are at risk from deforestation. Drusillas is proud to be doing their part to safeguard the species and ensure that the monkeys do not become endangered.
The Zoo is ecstatic to welcome baby Bonny, and is extremely proud of Monty for taking to mother-hood with such ease. However, there’s no time for relaxing just yet! Monty will have her hands full until Bonny is fully weaned from her at around 6 months old.