Dartmoor Zoo is delighted to announce that they have welcomed three new male geladas to the zoo for the very first time.
The three males, Bruno (aged 14), Kwame (aged 7 and Bruno’s son) and Soloman (aged 6 and Bruno’s nephew), were already living together at another zoo and are part of the international breeding program for their species.
Since arriving, they have been settling into their new enclosure, which has been renovated especially for them to include heating, new lighting plus lots of branches for climbing and enrichment.
Coral Jonas, Deputy CEO, said: “We are incredibly excited to be welcoming the start of what is going to be a new troop of geladas at Dartmoor Zoological Society.
‘Over the past year, our in-house maintenance team has been developing their new enclosure and we would like to thank the public for the incredible support shown over recent months, especially during lockdown. We have been very fortunate and thankful to have received donations and materials from local suppliers, allowing us to complete the finishing touches.
‘The three boys were due to arrive just after the Easter holidays but due to lockdown, this was delayed. These are fascinating animals and our long-term plan is to house more primates within the collection, so we can continue our research into animal cognition.
‘We will be keeping everyone updated on the monkeys’ progress through social media, and we are sure that all of our visitors will be thrilled to see them.”
Geladas are the last surviving species of grazing primate and known as shuffle-feeders, as they prefer to pluck grass while shuffling on their bottoms. Although not classed as endangered, their numbers are decreasing due to the spread of agriculture in their habitat. They are also persecuted as crop pests in some areas.
Geladas use a complex mix of facial expressions and vocalisations to communicate with others in the group. These can be very subtle or extremely obvious! Look out for them ‘mouth chattering’ as a greeting to one another.
Despite being allowed to reopen on Wednesday, 8th July, the zoo is only able to welcome a quarter of the visitors they would usually see through their doors due to the restrictions in place. To provide the best possible care to their animals, they must still fundraise £11,500 a week and continue to rely on the generosity of the public. If you are able to support them, please donate by visiting – https://bit.ly/DZPEmergencyAppeal.