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Thursday 2 October 2014

Laid-back mangabeys get to know gorilla neighbours

Claire McCormack

Published 12/06/2014 | 02:30

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Red-Capped Mangabey Arrive at Dublin Zoo and are introduced to the Gorillas
Red-Capped Mangabey Arrive at Dublin Zoo and are introduced to the Gorillas
Red-Capped Mangabey Arrive at Dublin Zoo and are introduced to the Gorillas
Red-Capped Mangabey Arrive at Dublin Zoo and are introduced to the Gorillas
Red-Capped Mangabey Arrive at Dublin Zoo and are introduced to the Gorillas
Red-Capped Mangabey Arrive at Dublin Zoo and are introduced to the Gorillas

Dublin Zoo's new arrivals are settling in well at the Gorilla Rainforest.

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Four male mangabeys, a species of monkey, moved in with the gorillas over two weeks ago as part of a European breeding programme.

The four bachelors were originally put in houses inside the gorillas' home but are now free to roam the rainforest with their new neighbours.

"We kept them in a house for two weeks so they could swap smells with the gorillas and everything went nicely, there was no aggression, it was no big deal, so we knew it was time to let them all out together," said Helen Clarke, team leader of the zoo's African Plains section.

The red-capped mangabeys, which recently arrived from Barcelona Zoo, are a vulnerable species in the wild, but that doesn't seem to bother them in their new home.

"They are very laid back and chilled out," said Ms Clarke. "The male gorillas are showing no interest in them, our handsome silverback Harry just keeps looking at them out the corner of his eye."

The red-capped monkeys, natives of Western Africa, are not the first mangabeys to move to Dublin Zoo.

"We have other types of mangabeys here, but we would like to get a few red-capped females in the future to help expand the family," said Clarke who said they are a pleasure to monitor.

Exclusive footage of the red-capped mangabeys being introduced to the gorillas at Dublin Zoo will be shown on RTE's 'The Zoo' today at 7pm.

Irish Independent

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