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  • Writer's pictureLinda Andrews - Editorial Assistant, Nuse Online

Enormous New Monkey Habitat To Open At The UK’s Largest Zoo

The UK’s largest Zoo isn’t monkeying around this Easter, as Whipsnade Zoo promises to transport visitors to the forests of southeast Asia– with the unveiling of Monkey Forest.

It will be the first time visitors to the conservation zoo will see Sulawesi crested macaques and François langurs. Visitors will meet the mischievous monkeys as they journey through Monkey Forest, as well as coming face to face with the curled-tusked Babirusa, and ‘demons of the forest’, the lowland anoa along the way.

The new macaque habitat is the largest in the UK, covering 11,500m2, equivalent to 44 tennis courts. The habitat will incorporate a woodland of over 100 trees, providing the perfect habitat for the troop to clamber around and explore.

Monkey Forest will shine a light on the troop of critically endangered Sulawesi crested macaques who are part of a conservation breeding programme for endangered species. The macaques are one of the most highly intelligent, social and promiscuous group of monkeys, hailing from rainforests on the island of Sulawesi, in Indonesia, and visitors will be able to see their cheeky grins, and observe the troop groom each other and smack their lips in greeting to one another.

As well as being highly social, the monkeys are very expressive. Whipsnade’s visitors can try the macaques’ stylish black mohawks on for size and their hilarious facial expressions with funky face props. Those wanting to embrace their inner monkey can have a go at grooming some faux fur and look for fleas! And if the public need a rest from monkeying around, they can plant themselves on the ‘cheeky’ pink-bum themed seating area – in honour of the macaque’s iconic behind.

Monkey Forest will also introduce the public to François langurs. Swinging from tree to tree in their woodland forest, the primates, sometimes known as leaf monkeys, will often be seen foraging for snacks around their habitat. And lucky guests may even catch a glimpse of a bright orange headed baby langur, which is often closely clasped to its mother’s chest.

Along with these incredible animals Monkey Forest also offers families an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Zoo’s only drive-through habitat, the Passage through Asia – home to free-roaming deer. Children can explore the natural play trail, can they leap like a langur or perhaps balance like a monkey? Monkey Forest has a step free access path with a range of indoor and outdoor viewing areas.

The woodland forest setting provides the perfect spot for learning about the threats facing these animals which includes habitat loss due to mining; macaques and langurs being hunted for meat or traditional medicine, as well as being trapped and sold as pets.


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