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Drill at Port Lympne wildlife park get new primate enclosure

A troop of 10 critically endangered primates at a wildlife park in Kent have been relocated to a bigger home.

After three months of construction, the drill at Port Lympne Hotel and Reserve have moved to a habitat four times bigger than their previous one, covering nearly 800 sq m.

With only two breeding groups of drills in Britain it is hoped that the reserve will continue their successful breeding efforts with the species and more infants will be born this year.

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Drill at Port Lympne in their new habitat (2816209)
Drill at Port Lympne in their new habitat (2816209)

The site is run by the Aspinall Foundation.

Animal director Simon Jeffery said: "We built a new habitat for the drills, as these critically endangered primates are breeding well and needed more space for future breeding.

"We are always looking to increase the size of our habitats where possible for all our animals.

"We hope to keep breeding this critically endangered primate in the hope of possible reintroduction back to the wild in the future.

"With only 2000 left in the wild this is a very important species to work with."

Drill at Port Lympne in their new habitat (2816213)
Drill at Port Lympne in their new habitat (2816213)

One of the most endangered African primates, drill are only found from the Cross river in Nigeria to the Sanaga river in Cameron in lowland, coastal and riverine tropical rainforest.

They are a large, short-tailed forest baboon that live in multi male, multi female groups of up to 30 but can form larger troops of 200.

They mainly forage on the ground or lower levels of the trees eating plants, seeds and insects.

Numbers of drills have been decreasing in the wild due to hunting, deforestation and mining for coltan which is commonly used in mobile phones.

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