Our resident capybara population has just seen an increase!
The capybaras are one of Flamingo Land’s most interesting residents. They are the world’s largest rodents and can easily be mistaken for giant guinea pigs! They can reach up to 1.3 metres in length and up to half a metre tall. In the wild they are found in South America. Here in the zoo they can be found in our free-ranging South America section together with alpaca, tapirs and maras.
In the wild the capybaras can be found in thick vegetation close to water. They are excellent swimmers and spend a lot of their time in the water, when they are not grazing on the land. This is why our Mum decided to have her litter right next to our big lake. The first European explorers to see capybaras originally named them water pigs!
We are proud to announce the arrival of 2 new members to our ring-tailed lemur troop. Ruth, our matriarch (the boss of the troop) has given birth to a very healthy infant and Pandora has also given birth.
Here at the zoo, we were all very excited to see the babies clinging on to their mothers’ bellies. The babies are now beginning to move around their mother and begin to ride on her back when they are foraging.
Ring-tailed lemurs are classified as “near threatened” by the IUCN (the international body that researches the risk of species going extinct). Due to this “near threatened” classification, the births are another triumph in Flamingo Land’s breeding of endangered and threatened species.
Our mangabeys can now be found settling in to their new house - previously home to the chimpanzees.
Visitors to the park have become accustomed to seeing our mangabeys swinging around on their ropes or figuring out how to get their food out of their coconuts next to the to the tiger enclosure. Mangabeys are endangered in the wild and due to hunting and habitat destruction their numbers have been seriously decreasing in the wild. Our mangabeys are part of a strict breeding programme called the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme (look out for the EEP sign as you venture around the zoo to see who else is part of this programme). With numbers dwindling in the wild, it is imperative that zoos are breeding up numbers in captivity.
It was this same breeding programme that saw our chimpanzees, Tupolo and Copper, head up north to Blair Drummond Safari Park earlier this year. The chimpanzee enclosure is a fantastic space and it was decided that the mangabeys could go on a bit of a holiday to another part of the zoo. As these monkeys are fascinating to watch, the old chimpanzee house, with its fantastic open windows seemed a perfect place to showcase the mangabeys.