Family attraction, Dartmoor Zoo, has announced the arrival of its newest resident, a six-year old male common marmoset who has arrived from Borth Wild Animal Kingdom last month to become Marmalade the marmoset’s new partner.
The boisterous marmoset, named Marvin by Dartmoor Zoo fans in a public poll, has settled in well with Marmalade, a two-year old female common marmoset who was left searching for a new friend after her previous companions passed away. Marmalade and her new beau have already become well acquainted and can be seen frolicking in the high tree branches of their enclosure, delighting visitors with their playful antics. The Zoo hopes that the love affair continues to blossom, and leads to a new breeding programme.
Announcing the new arrival, Dartmoor Zoo founder and CEO of the charity, Benjamin Mee, said: “Common marmosets are fascinating and entertaining creatures. We’re thrilled that the new male has bonded so well with Marmalade, as social interaction is essential to the marmosets’ wellbeing. He spent his first month at Dartmoor Zoo under close observation in quarantine and has gradually been introduced to Marmalade. Our keepers have done a fantastic job overseeing a smooth process and the two are fast becoming close companions.
“We called on animal lovers and monkey fans to help us decide on a name for our new Prince Charming and we received some brilliant names. He’s young, confident, and adventurous – not unlike a certain Royal who recently found his love match – and we were looking for the perfect name to suit his personality. Our keepers selected their favourite suggestions and Zoo fans have been voting furiously to choose the winning name. The pubic has spoken and their chosen name is Marvin, so he is our people’s primate!”
The common marmoset originates from Brazil and, although not currently endangered, their natural habit is fast being degraded by the human population. They are also commonly traded as exotic pets. In the wild, the marmoset’s diet largely consists of tree saps and insects, while Marmalade and her new friend will enjoy a range of vegetables and ‘marmoset gum’ which substitutes tree sap. The Marmosets at Dartmoor Zoo can be seen foraging for the gum which is placed by keepers in specially drilled logs to encourage natural behaviours. The marmosets can be visited at Dartmoor Zoo 364 days a year, 10am – 6pm (British Summer), and 10am – 4pm (British Winter).
Dartmoor Zoo was established in 2007 when Benjamin Mee and his family bought an ailing zoo. Since then Ben, his family and team have built the Zoo into the popular tourist attraction it is today. Ben wrote a book about his experience and in 2011 it was made into the Hollywood Film ‘We Bought a Zoo’ starring Matt Damon. In 2014 the Zoo became a charity, of which Ben is CEO. Today the Zoo is heavily involved in research, conservation and education projects to promote the welfare of animals and to enrich both the lives of humans and animals.