Arrivals a boost for at-risk species

A WILDLIFE park was celebrating a little monkey business yesterday with the arrival of two babies who will bolster a species considered to be one of the most endangered in the world.

The little bundles of seasonal joy arrived within days of each other at Fota Wildlife Park in Co Cork.

Fota Wildlife Park spokesman Willie Duffy said they were delighted with the new additions to their group of Lion-Tailed Macaques, which are believed to be one of the world’s most successful breeding groups in captivity.

The monkeys, which get their name from their impressive hairdos, come predominantly from the mountains of western India and there are believed to be less than 4,000 alive in the world.

The park authorities haven’t yet decided on names for the babies, who arrived within days of each other over the Christmas period.

Proud mothers Hallie and Elly were getting extra rations yesterday, as was dad. They are especially partial to Liga biscuits.

“The dad is named Joe Cocker after the singer. We got him from America,” Mr Duffy said.

Lion-Tailed Macaques have a gestation period of five months and can live for up to 35 years.

They are both meat and plant eaters who are highly sociable and live in groups of 10 to 30 in the wild.

A New Year’s Eve arrival has also added to the numbers of Capybara at the wildlife park.

Capybara are the largest rodents in the world. They live in the Amazon basin and are also considered to be an endangered species

“This is the ninth Capybara which has been born at Fota, which is a very good record,” Mr Duffy said.

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