Welcome to VinPearl Safari in Vietnam

The mandrill group at Hellabrunn Zoo was transferred from Munich to Vietnam at the end of last week. Their departure will provide more space for the endangered and closely related drills.

Drill female with young (Copyright: Tierpark Hellabrunn / Maria Fencik)

Mandrill male (Copyright: Tierpark Hellabrunn / Woelke)

On Thursday morning, 14 December 2017, the mandrill harem group headed by male Jo was taken to Frankfurt Airport, from where they set off on a direct flight to Ho Chi Minh City at around noon. After a long journey, the six animals arrived safe and sound in their new home, the VinPearl Safari and Conservation Park. Located on the island of Phú Quoc, in the Gulf of Thailand, the zoo is the only open zoo in Vietnam.

In 2016, a Global Species Management Plan (GSMP) for mandrills was launched to unite efforts to conserve the species in zoos on all continents as well as in the wild. Under this project, the VinPearl Safari became a participating member of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) for mandrills, even though it is not located in Europe. The transfer to Vietnam was made on the recommendation of the EEP coordinator for the species.

Mandrills are primarily ground-dwelling primates that are native to the tropical rainforests of equatorial West Africa. Their habitat is under threat and increasingly shrinking due to deforestation. An even more immediate threat is hunting for the bushmeat trade. As a result, the mandrill is currently classified as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

The transfer to Vietnam allows the zoo to create additional space for the closely related drills, in particular as Hellabrunn manages the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) and the International Studbook (ISB) for the species. The two primates previously lived in neighbouring enclosures in the Orangutan House, which will now be merged to provide the drills with ca. 250m² of indoor and outdoor space. The current mandrill outdoor enclosure will also be renovated next spring.