After 3 months of construction, Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve have re-located their troop of 10 drill to a spacious new home that is four times bigger than their previous enclosure. The critically endangered primates will now be able to inhabit almost 800m2 within the award-winning reserve situated in the Kent countryside.
With only two breeding groups of drills in Britain it is hoped that, with new environmental enrichment and space, we will continue with our successful breeding efforts and more infants will be born at the wild animal reserve this year.
Conservation of endangered species is at the core of what Port Lympne do and the new enclosure is another prime example of the lengths the organisation will go to create the most natural environment possible for their animals. This exceptional commitment to animal welfare is why the Port Lympne, working in conjunction with The Aspinall Foundation continue to be world leaders in their successful animal husbandry and breeding programmes.
Simon Jeffery, Animal Director said: ‘We built a new habitat for the drills, as these critically endangered primates are breeding well and needed more space for future breeding. We are always looking to increase the size of our habitats where possible for all our animals.’
Simon added: ‘We hope to keep breeding this critically endangered primate in the hope of possible reintroduction back to the wild in the future. With only 2000 left in the wild this is a very important species to work with.’
One of the most endangered African primates, drill are only found from the Cross river in Nigeria to the Sanaga river in Cameron in lowland, coastal and riverine tropical rainforest.
Drills are a large, short-tailed forest baboon that live in multi male, multi female groups of up to 20-30 but can form super troops of 200. They mainly forage on the ground or lower levels of the trees eating plants, seeds and insects.
Numbers of drills have been decreasing in the wild due to hunting, deforestation and mining for coltan for mobile phones.
Visitors to Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve will be able to see over 700 animals including our troop of drill.