Zoo enjoys baby boom

A BABY boom has been taking place at an Essex zoo in recent weeks with no less than 18 new arrivals.

Elliot Furniss

A BABY boom has been taking place at an Essex zoo in recent weeks with no less than 18 new arrivals.

The births have happened at Colchester Zoo and include a Fennec Fox, a L'hoest monkey, a Mandrill, a Gelada Baboon, the second pair of Meerkats to be born this year and 11 Essex Pig piglets.

Fennec Foxes Sabah and Sudan have successfully raised their first baby, the first pup to be raised at the Zoo.

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A spokesman said: “We cannot be certain of the date that the little pup was born as the youngster was born down in the den within the enclosure, but through monitoring changes in Sabah and Sudan's behaviour, keepers suspect that the baby was born in the last few days of June.”

The species is a part of the ESB breeding programme and the birth of a new baby from a new breeding pair will mean additional genetic diversity to the programme.

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The spokesman added: “And Biko, our dominant female L'hoest monkey, has also given birth to a tiny baby. The baby is her third and is doing well, growing considerably each day.

“The new arrival brings the L'hoest family up to five as it joins Biko and dominant male Chris and their two offspring Kim and Gizmo.”

The new baby can be seen every day in their enclosures opposite the chimps at Chimp World.

The birth of a baby Gelada Baboon on July 15 to mother Mena and father Junior, the dominant pair of the Gelada Baboon troop, was closely followed two days later by another new addition when the largest breeding group of Mandrills in the country became one bigger, with the birth of a beautiful baby.

The youngster was born to mother Millie and father Dume in the Edge of Africa zone and the baby is doing very well.

Then, just a few weeks after their first litter of babies; the zoo's dominant meerkat pair had a second litter of twin kittens.

Finally, 11 Essex pig piglets were born at Familiar Friends on July 17 - just a few days after a new sow arrived from Jimmy's Farm.

The species was once considered extinct but is now part of a successful breeding programme.

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