A Spanish zoo is celebrating the birth of a baby drill, considered one of Africa’s most endangered mammals.
The drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus) was born at Valencia Bioparc in the city of Valencia in the south-eastern Spanish region of the same name.
The Bioparc plays an important role in the international conservation programme (EEP) to breed endangered animal species.
According to an official press release, the zoo first monitored the situation to make sure the infant’s upbringing was developing normally, after which they allowed mother and child back in their enclosure with the other animals.
Their multispecies enclosure has been made to mimic the riverside forests of Equatorial Africa and the drills share it with sitatungas, pygmy hippos, talapoins, and Nile geese.
The zoo said they are a very cohesive community and cohabit peacefully together.
Drills are included on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as the highest conservation priority of all African primates.
Population decrease is thought to be the result of commercial hunting, habitat destruction, and human development, and experts estimate that only between 3,000 and 8,000 exist in the wild.
The drill community at Valencia Bioparc is made up of male Rafiki, adult females Abuja and Kianja, the latter who is the mother of the newborn, and six other offspring.
Bioparc has already transferred several drill infants to other zoological institutions, favouring the formation of other groups to achieve the maximum possible genetic variability.
The zoo remains open to the public following health recommendations and new Covid-19 measures