Hellabrunn Zoo thrilled at the birth of baby drill

A little game of hide-and-seek at mama's belly, a few wobbly first steps, then quickly back to mama's chest to recharge those batteries: the new arrival in the drill group is an exciting attraction for visitors to Hellabrunn Zoo. With jutting ears and Einstein hair - how cheeky he looks!

Copyright Marc Müller / Hellabrunn

Copyright Marc Müller / Hellabrunn

Copyright Marc Müller / Hellabrunn

Copyright Marc Müller / Hellabrunn

Copyright Marc Müller / Hellabrunn

The newest member of the drill group at Hellabrunn Zoo is not quite four weeks old. He was on born 24 June and is a lively baby in the best of health. Kaduna, the pink-faced ten-year-old mother with big eyes, is now quite experienced in caring for infants. This is her third baby. The father is the twelve-year-old male Bakut. After Nepomuk, who was born on 8 May 2013, came Oneto on 11 September 2014, and then less than a month ago the third brother was born. The drill group at the zoo in Munich now comprises seven members: Bakut, Kaduna, Afi, Nepomuk, Napongo, Oneto and the new baby.

After the sex of the newest addition to the drill group was determined, the male baby was given the name Pinto. At the moment, Pinto prefers clinging to mama Kaduna’s belly. This is the safest place for him and he knows he won't have to go far to get mama's milk. The baby of the family needs a lot of breast milk, and so Kaduna currently prefers to eat energy-boosting foods such as bananas and protein-rich pellets. In addition to draining the mother's energy, a lot of patience is required to raise the young baby. Infant drills like Pinto are suckled up to a year, but also begin to try solid food a few months after birth. Adult drills at Hellabrunn Zoo eat mainly vegetables (lettuce and leeks) and all kinds of fruit.

Zoo director Rasem Baban is delighted with the birth of the new baby: "In just two years, four drill babies were born at Hellabrunn, three of which are the offspring of Kaduna and Bakut. We are especially proud of the successful breeding as drills are among the most endangered primate species in the world. Little Pinto now lives with his brothers and the three adult drills in the Monkey World at Hellabrunn, where he can join in exploring the newly designed outdoor enclosure with natural rock walls and climbing facilities, as well as many plants and a water course."

In Europe, there are less than 70 drills living in 16 zoos. Hellabrunn Zoo coordinates the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) and manages the International Studbook (ISB) for the drill. The zoo in Munich is also a member of the Save the Drill Association, which supports the Pandrillus project in Nigeria and Cameroon. Hellabrunn is making an important contribution to the conservation of the species by breeding drills and showing its commitment to drills living in the wild.

The IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) has listed the drill in its Red List of the world’s most endangered species. Only about 3,500 animals survive in their natural habitat in Cameroon, Nigeria, Gabon and the island of Bioko. That means that the habitat of the drill is smaller than the size of Switzerland. Ongoing deforestation and the relentless hunting of this primate species are the prime reasons for its endangered status.

About the drills at Hellabrunn Zoo
Bakut (born 9.1.2003) arrived from Wuppertal Zoo and has been living at Hellabrunn since April 2011. The sisters Kaduna (born 1.10.2004) and Afi (born 27.1.2006) arrived from the British Port Lympne Wild Animal Park and have been keeping him company since July 2012.

Nepomuk, son of Bakut and Kaduna, was born on 8 May 2013.

Napongo, son of Bakut and Afi, was born on 24 January 2013.

On September 11, 2014, Nepomuk's first brother Oneto was born; Oneto is the son of Bakut and Kaduna.

On 24 June 2015, the second brother, Pinto was born (Parents: Bakut and Kaduna).

Napongo is the half-brother of Nepomuk, Oneto and Pinto. They share the same father, Bakut.