Mandrills on the move!
Our 17 mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx) have just been moved to the former enclosure of the coatis located after the aviary of the Colobus monkeys.
Given the number of animals to be moved, the 6 males were anesthetized and transferred to their new home a few days before the 11 females.
Each individual went through a thorough general examination: weighing, dental checkup, deworming and blood sampling. The vets also checked the contraceptive implants of several females.
The whole group is now enjoying a larger outside enclosure. Following a recommendation from the mandrill European breeding program, we should receive a new breeding male in the next few weeks, the aim being to maintain a good level of genetic diversity within our group.
The mandrill is the largest living monkey. Male and female present a remarkable sexual dimorphism: females have a weight almost 3 times lower than males who have a massive head and formidable upper canines. Males with the higher ranks have the more colored nose and rump.
Mandrills live in tropical forests of West Africa and are omnivorous. They feed on fruits, leaves, insects, amphibians, lizards and small mammals. The basic social unit is composed of an adult male and several females but these small groups can temporarily aggregate into large “hordes” which can number several hundred individuals.
The species is listed “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List. It is threatened by habitat destruction and poaching for its meat. Mandrills are also sometimes killed when they raid on crops.
The video of the transfer and the release of the mandrills in their new enclosure will follow shortly.