January 28, 2009 § 1 Comment
Welcome and Happy ‘Year of the Ox’ to all, from everyone here at Edinburgh Zoo.
This week sees not only the start of the Chinese New Year festivities, but also lots of goings on here at the zoo!
Our two Brown Capuchin monkey groups, in Living Links, have been joined by new arrivals this weekend. Five Brown Capuchins have arrived from Besançon Zoo in France. Two males, Diablo and Diego have joined the western group of Brown Capuchins in Living Links, and two females, Anita and Penelope, and one male, Manuel have joined the eastern group. These new additions will play particularly important roles in the captive breeding program, and will ensure that our Capuchin monkey social groups are well balanced with both young and old, and male and female individuals.
We will keep you updated on how the new individuals are settling in, right here!
A highly sociable Brown Capuchin monkey calls to the others in his group
The Squirrel Monkeys over in Living Links also have some news to share, as they have welcomed a new born into their eastern group this week. The youngster was born on the 19th January and can currently be seen clinging onto its mother’s back! We do not yet know the sex of this baby, but will keep you updated, on its progress as the weeks go by!
An inquisitive Squirrel Monkey looks out over its mixed Squirrel and Capuchin Monkey enclosure
Over in Budongo Trail, our chimpanzees have also been undergoing some important changes. All of the chimpanzees have been DNA tested within the last year to assess exactly how they are related (as Chimps are polygamous, it is difficult to determine who the youngsters’ fathers are through behaviour observation alone) AND what subspecies they belong to.
This is because Edinburgh Zoo has decided to follow the recommendation of the EEP (European Endangered Species Program) for Western Chimpanzees. This particular sub-species of chimp is the most threatened in the wild. Therefore, by ensuring that a healthy and diverse pure-bred captive population is maintained, the EEP can ensure that this particular sub-species is safe-guarded from extinction.
Quafzeh the chimpanzee ‘knuckle walks’ around the Budongo Trail enclosure
From the results of the chimpanzees’ DNA tests, the keepers have determined that our dominant male, Quafzeh, is not a pure-bred Western Chimpanzee, and so it has been decided that he should not be allowed to breed. As a result, this week, Quafzeh underwent a successful vasectomy operation. This procedure will not affect his ranking within the group, or indeed, any of his natural behaviours. However, it will ensure that we can work towards breeding and conserving Western Chimpanzees in the future.
You may recall that we shared the news of two antelope births with you last week. Well, the success of our ‘African Plains’ animals has not stopped there, as the youngsters were joined by yet another new born just last week! On the 20th January another male Lesser Kudu antelope was born. He will join the rest of the ‘Nursery group’, with his mother, inside their sheltered house, until he has grown stronger. We will keep you updated on when you can expect to see these youngsters out and about on the Plains with the rest of their herd.
A young Kudu, born last year, is flanked by an adult male (to the front) and a female (to the back)
For more information on who’s been coming and going, and what’s been happening at Edinburgh Zoo over the last year, come along to our annual ‘Zoo Review’ night on Thursday 29th January.
Join our animal department staff as they reflect on all the animal news which has happened during 2008 with an illustrated talk and Q&A session. Over 14s only.
7.30 – 9.00pm Education Centre
Cost: £4.50, Members £4.00
To book: call 01313140350 or visit www.rzss.org.uk