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Drayton Manor Park welcomes eight new baby animals

By Jordan Reynolds | Staffordshire | Attractions | Published:

A Staffordshire-based theme park and zoo is celebrating the births of eight new baby animals, who have arrived just in time for its grand reopening on Saturday.

Baby Emperor Tamarin Twins at Drayton Manor Park

Drayton Manor Park recently welcomed a new baby Spider Monkey, Scarlet Macaw and two Fiji Iguanas into the world, as well as Pygmy Marmoset and Emperor Tamarin twins.

The park’s new baby female Spider Monkey was born to parents Maya and Snarfy on May 22, and her arrival has brought the total number of Spider Monkeys at the park to six.

There are only 192 Spider Monkeys in conservation zoos across the UK, as the species is officially classed as critically endangered, with its population having declined 80 per cent in the last 45 years.

Baby Iguanas at Drayton Manor Park

Sally and Jasper, both Scarlet Macaws, also welcomed their first chick earlier this month, after moving to Drayton Manor Park’s conservation zoo in 2017. The two new Fiji Iguana babies are also part of the European Breeding Programme, with their mother moving to Drayton Manor from Augsberg Zoo in Germany and father from Vienna Zoo in Austria in July 2018.

The park’s two sets of twin monkeys have been very active during their first few weeks. Also part of the European Breeding Programme, the Pygmy Marmoset twins are raised by all members of the group, giving mother Wicket and father Chillado, a break.

The attraction this week announced its reopening date as Saturday, as well as outlining the safety measures it will be putting in place to keep both its team and guests safe, including temperature checks for all guests upon arrival, regular ride sanitation and a new virtual queueing system via the Drayton Manor Park day planner app.

Baby Iguanas at Drayton Manor Park

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Social distancing measures will be in place across the site, and hand sanitiser stations will be installed around the park, with rides closures every 30-60 minutes for routine cleaning of seats, restraints, lap bars and seat belts.

Chris Mitchell, head of zoo operations at Drayton Manor Park, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be welcoming so many new animals into the park this month ahead of our reopening, not least because six out of eight of them are classed as vulnerable or endangered species.

Baby Iguanas at Drayton Manor Park

“Conservation is a huge part of our programme at Drayton Manor Park, and being able to watch our adorable babies interact with their families knowing we are helping to boost the numbers of a vulnerable species, is fantastic.

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“We can’t wait to welcome visitors to the zoo again, and I’m sure our animals are looking forward to seeing some new faces too!”

Drayton Manor Park is planning a phased reopening, starting with family-favourite Thomas Land with 19 rides and attractions to enjoy, the Carousel, Jolly Buccaneer, Accelerator, Flying Dutchman and the 15-acre zoo on Saturday.

A number of rides will not be opening in the first phase due to social distancing, including the 4D cinema, Dodgems, Haunting, Museum, Discover Thomas Exhibition, Terrence’s Driving School and all indoor play zones.

The second phase will see the reopening of the rest of the park.

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star.

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