On the 17th of February staff at Africa Alive! were overjoyed to find a very welcome addition to the parks family of drill monkeys. The little male is named Kofi which in West Africa means ‘born on a Friday’. Drills are among Africa’s most endangered mammals, and are listed by the IUCN as the highest conservation priority of all African primates. They spend some of their time on the ground, but are equally at home in the tree’s and the sexes differ greatly from one another, with males weighing up to 45 kg (three times the size of females).
This rare primate is found in the dense rainforests of southeastern Nigeria, southwestern Cameroon and on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea. Very little is known about it in the wild and although it is technically protected by law in Nigeria and Cameroon, those laws are not strongly enforced, and drills not only continue to be hunted, but their habitat is fragmented and shrinking. Consequently, they are one of the most endangered species in Africa.
Parents Donga and Rouka, arrived from Bristol Zoo and Edinburgh Zoo in 2015. Neither had ever bred before, so this baby is extremely important to the captive population and we are thrilled that Rouka is proving to be such a good and attentive mother.
This is yet another important addition to the park and Donga and Rouka’s baby will hopefully play a crucial role in assisting with the European breeding programme for this incredibly endangered species.