A zoo has welcomed the arrival of a new baby monkey – and he is named after one of their long-standing keepers.

The youngster was born at Drusillas Zoo Park near Alfriston on April 8 and keepers are “delighted” with how the adorable baby is doing so far.

Little Pedro, son to monkeys Makena and Maarten, was named after one of the zoo's long-standing keepers.

The new baby is Maarten’s sixth child from two females, but Maarten was not always the accomplished dad he is today - when he first arrived at Drusillas from Rotterdam Zoo, he struggled with his confidence among the strong female characters and had a “desperately unsuccessful” love life.

But Maarten got his first girlfriend in 2019 and his first baby was born the same year.


Pedro has been welcomed by Maarten’s five other offspring Kylo, Yoyo, Domino, Romeo, and Arlo.

Keepers chose to name him after their colleague, Peter Holmes, who has worked at the zoo for more than 20 years – but they changed it to Pedro to be in keeping with his siblings’ names.

The baby colobus monkey was born completely pink but has now grown into his fluffy white fur.

As he gets older he will develop the species’ distinctive black and white markings and lush cloak of fur.

Third-time mum Makena is a wonderful parent and can often be seen protectively snuggling the newborn.

The infant is occasionally “stolen” by his cheeky older siblings, which gives mum a break from her duties, but she doesn’t let them have the baby for long as they have a tendency to get a little carried away.

“Pedro is doing exceptionally well, and in fact is developing much faster than most youngsters his age – he has so many older siblings around him he seems to be picking things up really quickly,” said Gemma Romanis, head keeper at Drusillas.

“He’s already got the confidence to spend a little time off mum and we can see some black streaks already forming in his fur, so we’re very happy with how he is doing.”