Bede’s Zoo Welcomes New Rescued Arrivals
Bede's Zoo has taken in two rescued Common Marmoset Monkeys who were previously living in unsuitable conditions as pets.
The Marmosets were taken in by the Lakeview Monkey Sanctuary to ensure that they were removed from the pet trade and could not be used to breed from (and subsequently add to the growing primate trade problems).
The monkeys – named Billy and Jack – had been living in a very small cage and had never been allowed outside access before they came to Bede’s. Mrs Helen Poyser, Zoo Manager at Bede’s Senior School, says, “Billy and Jack have come to us in a very poor condition – Billy, the older of the two, is morbidly obese and Jack (aged approximately 18 months) is overweight. This is not surprising when you consider how their lives have been up to this point – kept in a cramped space, fed the wrong food and given very little mental stimulation. All of these factors have had a serious impact on their health.”
In the wild, Marmosets are primarily found in the tropical rainforests of South America. Despite ours being such an unsuitable climate, an estimated 5,000 primates (including Marmosets, Capuchins, Squirrel Monkeys and Lemurs) are being kept as pets in the UK – many in similar conditions to Billy and Jack before they were taken in by the Lakeview Monkey Sanctuary.
“Marmosets need a very specific diet with D3 supplementation, otherwise they run the risk of Marmoset Wastage Syndrome – which can be fatal,” Mrs Poyser explains. “The wrong diet can lead to Marmosets becoming very ill, very quickly.
“They are very intelligent and social creatures; in the wild Marmosets live in stable social groups, so cannot be kept on their own. They get bored very easily, and can become very stressed if they are not given enough mental stimulation – and they need a lot of it!”
Billy and Jack now have a new life at Bede’s Zoo with indoor and outdoor space, expert animal care, and an environment that mimics their natural habitat in the wild.
Bede’s Zoo also recently welcomed a pair of Hermann Tortoises named Thor and Loki (also rescued from an unsuitable environment), and two White Headed Barbet birds which are currently the only individuals of this species on display in Europe.
About Bede’s Zoo
Bede’s Senior School is one of only a few schools in the UK with a zoo. Opened in 2011 and extended in August last year, the Animal Management Unit currently hosts over 70 species of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish and invertebrates. Primarily used for education, the zoo forms the cornerstone of the Sixth Form BTEC Animal Management course, as well as one of the School’s most popular activities, the Zoological Society.
Since Bede’s started offering the course in 2013, 60 pupils have completed the BTEC qualification, with the majority achieving Distinction level. Pupils who have undertaken the course have moved on to study veterinary medicine, veterinary nursing, zoology and conservation.