Visitors to Banham Zoo are in for a real treat this summer after the zoo announced the arrival of two new species never seen before in Norfolk’s premier zoo.
First to arrive was a male Linne’s two-toed sloth, who took up residence in May in the zoo’s sub-tropical house, Eureka, where the zoo has equipped his living space with a network of branches, enabling him to live in the area directly above the zoo’s visitors, with its lush flora and warm year-round temperatures, it has proved to be a perfect habitat for its latest occupant.
Sloths live in the canopy of tropical moist lowland and montane forests in several South American countries including Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela and are very well adapted for life in the trees.
This species is managed within a European breeding programme and the zoo has already been in contact in the hope of acquiring a female in the near future.
Soon after the sloth’s arrival, four male gelada made the journey down from Edinburgh Zoo and are now living in a large enclosure in the centre of the zoo that previously housed colobus monkeys.
Gelada live in the Ethiopian Highlands with large populations found in the Simien Mountains and are very well adapted to their environment, they are unique amongst primates as they are primarily graminivores (grass eaters), with grass constituting up to 90% of their diet. These large, impressive primates are very similar in appearance to baboons and are often referred to as such but are actually not a true baboon but a closely related species.
The four males have settled in well and are making full use of the large open topped grassed enclosure which is very well suited to their needs.