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Fluffy Friday

Fluffy Friday: These squirrel monkey snaps are heart melting!

Friday, March 11 2016, 13:57 GMT
It's Fluffy Friday, and this week we've tracked down the most adorable squirrel monkeys. Check out this mother and son duo at Pembrokeshire zoo.

New baby squirrel monkey Mushu gave visitors a masterclass on how to travel in style at Pembrokeshire's Folly Farm - clinging onto his mum and giving her a massive cuddle!

Baby squirrel monkey Mushu clinging on to his mum Daisy at Pembrokeshire's Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo, March 2016

© Folly Farm



In an adorable moment captured at the Welsh adventure park and zoo, the teeny four-week-old monkey proved he's already a total heart melter.

Like all squirrel monkey babies, Mushu will remain on his mum's back until around six-weeks-old when they'll slowly start to hop off and explore their surroundings a little at a time.

So what will Mushu get up to when he's outgrown the piggyback lifestyle? Well it sounds like he'll have a total blast! The squirrel monkeys spend the majority of their time playing or grooming each other. The juvenile males Berry and Hollywood are typical children, play fighting and busy playing in their enclosure.

The gang also enjoy 'enrichment toys' such as mirrors and ones where the keepers can hide bugs in for them to explore. And other hobbies include ripping off the petals and leaves.

Baby squirrel monkey Mushu clinging on to his mum Daisy at Pembrokeshire's Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo, March 2016

© Folly Farm



Folly Farm currently have seven squirrel monkeys in the enclosure, including the male Heath and females Daisy, Pippa and Rio, 'toddler' twin boys Berry and Hollywood, and then baby Mushu who is stealing the show at the moment!

Squirrel monkeys are originally from South America (Peru and Chile) and live in rainforests. They dine on a mixture of fruit, veg, primate pellets, bugs, crickets and protein such as cooked chicken and eggs. Yum.

For more information on Folly Farm visit the website www.folly-farm.co.uk, like on Facebook www.facebook.com/FollyFarm and follow on Twitter @follyfarmwales.

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Fluffy Friday: Baby giraffe born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Friday, March 4 2016, 10:18 GMT
It's Fluffy Friday! This week Zookeepers are welcoming a new baby giraffe to their neck of the woods at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo after mum Savannah gave birth just in time for Mother's Day. What a lovely gift hey?

Fourth-time mum Savannah kept zookeepers guessing for weeks after her expected due-date, finally giving birth to a female calf on Wednesday 24 February. Keepers named her Nuru, which is the Swahili word for light.

Here she is, welcome Neru!

Baby giraffe born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, March 2016

© ZSL Whipsnade Zoo



In traditional giraffe style Nuru is already tall by human standards at 5ft6in, but the lovely new arrival is only miniature when compared to her 16-foot tall mum.

Keeper Cassie Taylor said: "Savannah is a fantastic mum, so it was particularly lovely to have the calf arrive in time for Mother's Day.

"We were lucky enough to be there to observe the birth, and watched Nuru as mum Savannah gently helped her stand up and delicately cleaned her new arrival.

"Savannah is attentive and protective, but also relaxed enough to let dad Bashu and the other members of the group play their roles in childcare too."

The baby giraffe was born at 9am and after less than an hour of wobbly attempts, soon figured out how to use her long legs to stand up to her full height.

At just eight days old, Nuru has already been spotted exploring her surroundings and interacting with other members of the herd, showing similar personality traits to her bold and inquisitive parents.

Keeper Cassie Taylor continued: "Calves don't usually wean from their mothers' milk until they are a few months old but Nuru is already showing an interest in leaves, and at one point dunked her whole head in the water bowl! She's a really wonderful addition to the group and will make a great playmate for 18 month old Luna and two year old Willow."

The new calf is part of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), which helps ensure the survival of endangered species in Zoos across Europe.

Check this adorable clip of Nuru's first moments in the world!



Book a visit now to see Nuru and the rest of the giraffe herd, as well as ZSL Whipsnade Zoo's other 2,500 animals, at www.zsl.org

World's smallest monkey born at Chester Zoo

Friday, February 26 2016, 17:36 GMT
It's Fluffy Friday! A baby Eastern pygmy marmoset – the world's smallest species of monkey – has been born at Chester Zoo.

This tiny fluffball was born only six weeks ago, and after spending time bonding with parents, it decided to hitch a ride outside with dad! That's so the way to travel.

Get ready to 'aww'.

A baby Eastern pygmy marmoset – the world's smallest species of monkey – has been born at Chester Zoo. February 2016

© Chester Zoo



The infant, who has yet to be named or sexed, will measure only five inches in length when fully grown. FIVE INCHES! That's less than 13 centimetres if anyone was dying to know.

As for it's full weight, the monkey will only ever 'top' the scales at 150 grams maximum! That's the same as an average apple according to the internet.

However, don't underestimate the creature, because despite their tiny stature, pygmy marmosets make a lot of loud noises – their whistles and squeals can be heard throughout the rainforest.

The little youngster arrived to mum Audrey, six, but aside from doing the feeding, female Eastern pygmy marmosets are known to do none of the parental care and so the mini monkey is being carried around by dad, Gumi, seven.

The South American primates are native to the forests of Brazil, Ecuador and Peru where sadly they are threatened by habitat destruction and their capture for the pet trade. Aww.

Chester Zoo is a registered conservation and education charity that supports projects around the world and closer to home in Cheshire. Welcoming 1.6 million visitors a year, it is the most visited zoo in the UK.

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Fluffy Friday: Critically-endangered monkey born at ZSL London Zoo

Friday, February 19 2016, 17:39 GMT
It's Fluffy Friday! This week the spotlight is on an adorable endangered newborn monkey.

A critically-endangered monkey has been born at ZSL London Zoo, and we can't stop staring at these snaps of the fluffy fellow.

Welcome to the world!

Critically-endangered monkey born at ZSL London Zoo, 18 February 2016

© ZSL London Zoo



Looks tiny, right? In fact the teeny creature is only eight inches tall and weighs in at just 800grams, aww! Despite the tiny stature, the new arrival is already making a big impression.

It won't be this small for long, the (currently un-named) monkey is expected to triple its weight before autumn this year; mum Winoo will be nursing the newborn for at least another six months, before gradually moving on to a diet of fruit, leaves and insects.

The three-week-old is the latest addition to the eight-strong troop of Sulawesi crested macaques at the Zoo, and it's gender is not yet known. The new-born's eyes will darken with age, and the macaque's iconic crest of hair will soon appear.

Critically-endangered monkey born at ZSL London Zoo, 18 February 2016

© ZSL London Zoo



Zookeeper Paul Kybett said: "The team at ZSL London Zoo are delighted by the arrival of a new Sulawesi crested macaque, and pleased to confirm that mum and baby are both doing well.

"These are sociable monkeys that form close bonds with each other and the group are all showing a keen interest in the new arrival.

"The other youngsters in the group will be delighted to have a new playmate, but for now experienced-mum Winoo will be keeping a close eye on her baby."

Well that's our hearts melted once again!

You can check out the new arrival and visit the Sulawesi crested macaque troop at ZSL London Zoo. Beat the queues at the gate and book tickets online now at www.zsl.org

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Fluffy Friday: It's Valentine's Day for these smitten Penguins!

Friday, February 12 2016, 19:27 GMT
It's Fluffy Friday! This week there's romance blossoming for some smitten Penguins at Weymouth Sealife

Thought Valentine's Day was on Sunday? Well it arrives earlier in the animal world, which is surprising as we assumed it simply didn't exist at all in that realm.

Penguin love triangle at Weymouth SEA LIFE this Valentine's Day, February 2016

© Sealife Weymouth



We've seen our furry friends celebrate Halloween and get all excited for Christmas, so it makes sense that they get involved with the most romantic day in the calendar.

Some very crafty Penguins have even wandered down to the local Paperchase, penned their own love notes and sealed envelopes, apparently. Sounds simple, but even Penguin's have romance woes...

Penguin love triangle at Weymouth SEA LIFE this Valentine's Day, February 2016

© Sealife Weymouth



Weymouth SEA LIFE Adventure Park is home to 14 happy Humboldt penguins. Although some species of penguin do mate for life, it seems that not everyone gets a happy ending.

In fact there's a love triangle developing amongst this particular clan! Until recently, Conker and Juniper were cohabiting, but it seems the Weymouth team may have some wife swapping on their hands this Valentine's Day…

At Christmas, the Weymouth penguins were joined by three new penguins – Fat Mango, Fig and sassy female Yew. It didn't take long for Yew to turn Juniper's eye, and the youngest penguin of the group, Sequoia also decided to make a play for the sought-after newcomer. Oh it's starting to sound like Ex On The Beach.

Penguin love triangle at Weymouth SEA LIFE this Valentine's Day, February 2016

© Sealife Weymouth

Penguin love triangle at Weymouth SEA LIFE this Valentine's Day, February 2016

© Sealife Weymouth



Despite quite a difference in years, the two lovestruck males Juniper (16) and Sequoia (4) have been vying for Yew's attention, making her the most desirable penguin this Valentine's Day.

An employee at the park, Fiona Smith, weighed in: "Our penguins at the Park all get along really well, but it hasn't stopped a bit of a love triangle developing this winter. It can be tricky to keep up with who's wooing who!"

"All of our penguins are in pairs now apart from Sequoia, Yew, Juniper and Conker, so it will be interesting to see how their relationships develop for Valentine's Day. We'll be keeping an eye on them to make sure they all continue to be as cheerful as ever, no matter which mate Yew chooses."

Open the card someone! We can't take this suspense.

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Fluffy Friday: Endangered Rhino born - and you can choose the name!

Friday, January 15 2016, 17:36 GMT
Ok, so this week our Fluffy Friday newcomer isn't actually fluffy - but we're not letting that small detail get in the way of celebrating the arrival of this adorable Rhino!

Knowsley Safari's 21-year-old female white rhino Meru, has welcomed her sixth calf, and here it is looking absolutely teeny next to a fully grown friend. But don't be fooled, at almost two-weeks-old, the Rhino already weighs a whopping seven stone.

Endangered rhino birth at Knowsley Safari, January 2015

© Knowsley Safari Park



So what's 'it' called then? Well, nothing yet, because the task of naming the cutie has been put in the public's hands. Oh, we love a competition.

Before anyone suggests naming it Beyonce for a laugh, Knowsley Safari Park has narrowed it down to a few options - Simangele, which means surprise, Thandeka, means beloved, Nomvula, means mother of rain (fitting, right?) or Musikana, means 'it's a girl' in Shona. Info on voting can be found on Facebook.

Endangered rhino birth at Knowsley Safari, January 2015

© Knowsley Safari Park



White rhinos are one of the most hunted animals in the wild and it's estimated there are only 20,107 left in the wild, so naturally the new arrival was cause for huge celebration at the park. Rhinos in party hats = the cutest thing ever, we imagine.

John Moss, Rhino Keeper at Knowsley Safari, says: "We've been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the calf for 16 months - the average gestation period of a rhino. We're really enjoying monitoring her as she explores and interacts with the new surroundings, she's already so mischievous as she runs around her mum, copying her mannerisms."

Jason Doherty, Rhino Team Leader at Knowsley Safari adds: "Meru is a great mother and has now had six calves here at the safari. We have a large 100 acre space here for the crash to grow that helps us keep up such a consistent breeding programme, which ranks us as one of the top white rhino breeding groups in Europe."

Endangered rhino birth at Knowsley Safari, January 2015

© Knowsley Safari Park



For more information visit Knowsley Safari Park

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Fluffy Friday: Monkeys trying to catch snowflakes are so cute!

Friday, January 1 2016, 08:00 GMT
These monkeys are just adorable! Wild Japanese macaques were recently pictured attempting to keep warm in freezing temperatures - and one fluffy fellow couldn't resist trying to catch snowflakes on their tongue.

We've all tried that before! But probably not in minus five degree Celsius like these guys, who were spotted sat in a hot pool of water trying to keep warm. How cold does that look?!

Snow Monkeys, Jigokundani Monkey Park, Yamanouchi, Nagano Prefecture, Japan - 17 Dec 2015

© Julia Wimmerlin/Solent News/REX/Shutterstock



Based in the Jigokundani Monkey Park in Yamanouchi, Japan, the macaques spend their winters hopping from the hot springs during the day, and return to the surrounding forest at night.

This duo were not the only "snow monkeys", as locals call them, enjoying the hot springs - around 80 macaques were also in the water bathing, playing and even fighting for the best spots. Like one massive pool party!

Some brave monkeys decided to leave the warmth of the water and cool themselves down. But as this fellow showed, taking on the freezing snowstorm is no walk in the park...

The young monkey who risked climbing onto the rocks curled up his toes and opened his mouth in surprise. Get back in the water!

Snow Monkeys, Jigokundani Monkey Park, Yamanouchi, Nagano Prefecture, Japan - 17 Dec 2015

© Julia Wimmerlin/Solent News/REX/Shutterstock



Julia Wimmerlin, the photographer who was lucky enough to spend time with these cuties up close, explained a bit about their fascinating behaviour.

She said: "Snow Monkeys go to the valley during the winter, foraging elsewhere in the national park during the warmer months.

"The monkeys descend from the steep cliffs and forest to sit in the warm waters of the onsen or hot springs, and return to the security of the forests in the evenings."

Julia added: "I was there for three to four hours for two days. Some macaques never got out of water during all my stay there, the others would go out and sit on snow obviously freezing.

"Their expressions change consistently and these 'sad' moments must have come from the fact that a snowflake sat on its nose or he felt like he had to move while being comfortable and warm."

Yep, we'd look sad about that too!

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Fluffy Friday: Merry Christmas from these festive meerkats!

Friday, December 25 2015, 08:00 GMT
Merry Christmas! Seeing as the *big day* is finally here - we're celebrating with some very festive meerkats. Who knew santa paid zoo's a visit?! Minds blown.

Well, the furry residents of Knowsley Safari Park were lucky enough to be treated to some 'festive enrichment activities' for Christmas, which are otherwise known as presents!

Lovely wrapping. This lot certainly give those chimpanzees from last week a run for their money, right?!

Knowsley Safari's animals were treated to some festive enrichment activities for Christmas - December 2015

© Knowsley Safari Park



Now we're not entirely sure what these inquisitive meerkats were attempting to unwrap because they seemed to mostly spend their time sitting on top of the parcels. Makes for a lovely photo though.

The stocking seemed a bit more successful, with one of the residents managing to poke their nose in - if only we all had that self-restraint.

Knowsley Safari's animals were treated to some festive enrichment activities for Christmas - December 2015

© Knowsley Safari Park

Knowsley Safari's animals were treated to some festive enrichment activities for Christmas - December 2015

© Knowsley Safari Park



Oh, and just because it's Christmas - here's a rhino standing next to a massive present. Amazing. Have a great day everyone!

Knowsley Safari's animals were treated to some festive enrichment activities for Christmas - December 2015

© Knowsley Safari Park



For more information www.knowsleysafariexperience.co.uk

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Fluffy Friday: It's Christmas at the zoo for some lucky chimpanzees!

Friday, December 18 2015, 15:00 GMT
Fluffy Friday has gone festive this week because it's only seven days til Christmas, eek! To mark the occasion, here's a bunch of chimpanzees carrying round presents and looking ridiculously cute.

Ever wondered how chimpanzees celebrate the festive season? We hadn't either to be honest, but it turns out the lucky chimps at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo get over-excited about the whole gift giving part just like the rest of us!

Zookeepers play Santa at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, December 2015

© ZSL Whipsnade Zoo



Although we're still (impatiently) waiting for the *big day* to arrive, Christmas came early for a few zoo dwellers when their keepers surprised them with some delicious, yuletide treats. Probably not Quality Streets though.

The curious chimpanzees were given a whole pile of presents to open, each stuffed with their favourite snacks such as fruit and nuts. Look how content they are, too cute!

Zookeepers play Santa at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, December 2015

© ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Zookeepers play Santa at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, December 2015

© ZSL Whipsnade Zoo



Zookeeper Stephen Perry said: "Animals like chimpanzee are really inquisitive by nature and enjoy investigating new things.

"The chimps have definitely made it onto Santa's nice list this year, and I'm sure they'll love their Christmas treats."

Zookeepers play Santa at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, December 2015

© ZSL Whipsnade Zoo



Aww.

International conservation charity ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is open to visitors all year round except Christmas Day, and with amazing exhibits including the new tropical Butterfly House, the Zoo is a fantastic day out for the whole family. For more information or to book, see www.zsl.org.

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