The Zoo returns to RTÉ One tonight at 7pm for its fifth season which will once again feature lots of new animals. Episode one will see Dublin Zoo welcome the latest member of the white faced saki family.
Zookeeper Susan O’Brien said “A couple of years ago we got a new male – Zorbas, he came from Helsinki – and he’d never bred before. Our female Liana has had three youngsters before so she’s quite an experienced mother. We put them together and nature took its course and we’ve had had a little baby!”
“The baby looks great and the mam knows what she’s doing, she’s a natural. These guys are unusual because they hold the baby quite close, quite low down on their bodies whereas most primates have the baby up quite high and she kind of carries the baby around to the side as well which is unusual."
“Also unusual for this type of monkey that there’s no kind of paternal care so it’s the mother who does all the lifting and carrying and feeding whereas in a lot of the other species, such as the pygmy marmoset, the males will actually carry the youngsters around so these guys are a bit different that way as well.
"Their pregnancy is quite long, it’s about five and a half months. For the size of them you’d think the smaller the animal the shorter the pregnancy would be... so it’s quite a lot.”
The first episode will also see Dublin Zoo welcome two exotic new arrivals who are critically endangered in the wild – a pair of beautiful okapi.