Baby boom at Scots zoo as keepers welcome new arrivals

The new-born armadillos and baby monkey mark an important milestone for the zoo and its breeding programme.

Fife Zoo has enjoyed a baby boom of exotic species this summer.

For the last four years, the zoo has played a vital role in the conservation of animals, helping to breed animals through their involvement in the European breeding programme.

Newborn armadillos and a de brazza’s monkey have been welcomed to the zoo – marking a milestone for its breeding programme.

The armadillos were born six weeks ago with their arrival marking a milestone for the zoo and its breeding programme.

The new-born de brazza's monkey arrived on Saturday.

Michael Knight from Fife Zoo said: “It has been the first time that we’ve bred armadillos at the zoo. It’s notoriously difficult.

“It’s been a bit of trial and error, but we think we’ve finally worked out how to breed armadillos successfully.

“We’ve been completely hands off up until the last couple of weeks. They’ve just started to try solid foods, so they’ve got a plate of insect pellet and some steamed veg.

“They have access outside, but they do spend a lot of time in the box and then eventually we will move dad back in.”

It's the first time Fife Zoo has successfully bred armadillos.

It’s not the only success story for Fife Zoo as just short walk away in the opposite enclosure another new arrival awaits.

A de brazza’s monkey born on Saturday now forms part of a group which is one of only ten breeding pairs in Europe.

Michael said: “This is a big step for us and for the breeding programme. Threats in the wild are things like habitat destruction and fragmentation, agriculture, things like that.

“So, it’s really important for us to be able to educate visitors about this species and about other species in Africa as well.”

For the keepers, it marks a step in the right direction for a zoo which houses around 15 species and only opened four years ago.

The latest arrivals may be small, but their importance is much greater with visitors gaining precious insight into the efforts of conservation.

Michael added: “Breeding is always positive, it’s a massive moral boost for the staff but particularly the de brazza monkeys.

“They’re part of the European endangered species programme so that builds our reputation across Europe through the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums and hopefully allow us to develop the zoo in the trajectory that we like.”

Plans are in place to expand and redevelop the ten-acre site in the coming months.

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