Fota Wildlife Park has finally introduced the latest additions to the park a male and female Black Howler Monkey to another, after a delay caused by the volcanic ash.
Pedro was the first of the howler monkeys to arrive in the park back on the 3rd of March from Paris Zoo but had to wait until last weekend to meet his new love interest Mo from Banham Zoo in Norfolk. Mo was due to arrive at the park on the 20th of April via Heathrow but like many others had to go back home when flights were cancelled by the volcanic ash disruption.
Speaking about the new arrivals at the park operations manager Tony O'Dwyer added "they are getting on very well despite the delay and are having great fun in their new island residence". The Black Howler Monkeys are the first new species to arrive at Fota in 2010 and can be seen opposite the penguins in the park.
The Black Howler Monkey is one of six species of Howler Monkey, who can be found in central South American bush savannah, deciduous and semi-deciduous forests. The male is black, while the female is brown or gold.
Howler monkeys are renowned for their highly specialised voice box that can project their howls for 2km or further. As a result the park may now have a singing contest on their hands as some of their existing residents have a reputation for making lots of noise in particular the Siamang Gibbon.
It is hoped however that the monkeys don't howl too much at night and disturb the baby zebra who has proven to be very popular with the public following a competition to name her. "We have had a huge response to our zebra naming competition with hundreds of people entering, in the end we narrowed it down to three and our Facebook Fans chose Aifric" added Stephen Ryan, Head of Marketing for the park.
The park have also announced details of its upcoming cheetah run 4 mile road race in association with Eagle AC on the 20th of May. The race is the only one of its kind to go through a wildlife park or zoo in Ireland and some of the money raised on the night will go towards renovations of the Lar gibbon island at the park.