Zoos celebrate new arrivals

TWO zoos are celebrating today after the arrival of a three young mammals.A baby buffy-headed capuchin was born at Colchester Zoo on Saturday and at Banham Zoo, near Diss, a young kinkajou called Sparky has just arrived for visitors to see.

TWO zoos are celebrating today after the arrival of a three young mammals.

A baby buffy-headed capuchin was born at Colchester Zoo on Saturday and at Banham Zoo, near Diss, a young kinkajou called Sparky has just arrived for visitors to see.

The newcomers follow the birth of a cherry-crowned manngabey at the Essex zoo last week.

A spokeswoman for Colchester Zoo said: “The baby buffy-headed capuchin is quite small but appears to have a strong grip on its mother Wicket's back, is very alert and appears to be progressing well.

“This is the sixth baby that Wicket has had while she has lived here so she is now considered to be a very experienced parent.

“Little man, the father of the new baby, has fathered all six of her babies so they are proving to be a very successful and competent set of parents. This has been supported by the fact that they are both 16-years-old and so are very calm and practised rather than being jumpy and skittish as younger less experienced primate parents can be.”

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She added that the sex of the baby buffy-headed capuchin, one of the most endangered primates in the world, was not yet known as the baby was clinging to its mother, and that the gender may not be established for two years.

Meanwhile at Banham Zoo young Sparky, the kinkajou, has been settling into her new home. She was born in September but needed to be hand-reared after her mother experienced difficulties in rearing her.

A spokeswoman for the zoo said: “Found in the forests of South America, the kinkajou is an excellent climber with some special adaptations to help with life in the trees.

“Well known for their habit of hanging upside down to feed they have a long fully prehensile tail, which enables them to grip and cling to braches as they climb.

“The kinkajou is mainly a nocturnal animal and is known as the 'night walker' with good night vision; however it relies on its sense of smell to find food. It will feed on a wide variety of fruits and flowers with a long skinny tongue which it may use to obtain nectar from within lowers.

“The kinkajou is hunted for its fur and meat and its forest home is also under threat from logging and deforestation.”

Have you seen any of the new arrivals at the zoos? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

It is thought that less than 300 buffy-headed capuchins are currently living in the wild.

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