Offspring for endangered primate species

Droll Baby Drill with Punk Hairstyle born

After a gestation period of about 180 days our female drill Afi (7 years old) has now had her first child. The small baby drill was born on 8 May. He’s already entertaining Hellabrunn’s visitors with his cool, punk hairstyle, bright pink face and irresistible jug ears. Most of all though, his five-month-old half-brother Nepomuk is happy to have a new playmate.


Munich’s Blood Transfusion Service has become the sponsor for the as yet nameless baby drill. Andreas Faber, manager of the Blood Transfusion Service is delighted with the sponsorship and is calling on people to take part in a competition to name him. “We specifically chose to sponsor a critically endangered species to raise awareness of the need to conserve species and nature. Although our blood donors are not dying out, they will decrease in number in the next few years. The growing numbers of older patients are faced with a decreasing number of people eligible to donate blood. In fact, only every second young adult can see themselves donating blood. Up to now only 3% of people eligible to donate blood actually do so.”


“Drills are not just one of the most impressive but also one of the most threatened primate species in the world. Particularly as registrar of the stud book I am all the more delighted with the breeding success of Hellabrunn’s young drill troop in the space of a year,” said zoo director, Dr. Andreas Knieriem.


The drill is one of the most critically endangered primate species in Africa. The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has listed the drill on the Red List of the world’s most endangered species. In its native habitat, an area of just 40,000 square kilometres in Cameroon, Nigeria and Gabon and on the island of Ferdinand Po, the drill population numbers approx. 3,500 animals. This means its native habitat is smaller than Switzerland. Progressive deforestation and the relentless hunting of this primate species are the prime reasons for its critical endangerment.


There are fewer than 70 drills living across 16 zoos in Europe. Hellabrunn manages the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme (EEP) as well as maintaining the international stud book for this primate species. In addition to this Hellabrunn is member of the “Save the Drill Association” that supports the “Pandrillus” project in Nigeria. Hellabrunn is making an important contribution to saving this species by breeding drills and showing its commitment to drills living in the wild. The baby drill’s father, Bakut came from Wuppertal zoo and has made his home at Hellabrunn since April 2011. Kaduna and Afi (from Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, Britain) have been keeping him company since July 2012.