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Fota Wildlife Park announces the arrival of the first Lion-tailed macaque baby in over four years

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Fota Wildlife Park announces the arrival of the first Lion-tailed macaque baby in over four years -and they are asking for your help in choosing a name! Pic Darragh Kane

Fota Wildlife Park announces the arrival of the first Lion-tailed macaque baby in over four years -and they are asking for your help in choosing a name!

Fota Wildlife Park today announced the birth of a Lion-tailed macaque baby (Macaca silenus) on 23rd July to mother Tish and father Mauzer under the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP). The Lion-tailed macaque is one of the most endangered of the Asian primate species and is listed in the Red Data Book (IUCN 2003).The new mum is 11-year-old Fota-born Tish, who is one of the dominant females in the troop, and this is her second baby. First time father Mauzer aged seven, was born in Belfast Zoo in 2011 and arrived at Fota in March 2015 as the new breeding male. Fota Wildlife Park are calling on the public to help name the new baby, however the animal staff cannot tell whether it’s male or female as Tish is keeping the baby very close and the rest of the troop are also being very protective – so it’s not possible for the Rangers to get close enough to check just yet. To be in with a chance to win a yearlong Conservation Membership at Fota Wildlife Park enter your name suggestions for the new baby Lion-tailed macaque on their blog at www.fotawildlife.ie/blog.

Pic Darragh Kane

Lead Ranger Teresa Power said “It has been a while since a Lion-tailed macaque birth, so we really are thrilled at the arrival of this new baby. Fota has a long and very successful history with this endangered species, as they are known to be difficult to keep and breed. The species first arrived at Fota Wildlife Park in 1986 from Dublin Zoo and they first bred here in 1988 and since then Fota-born macaques have been sent to many zoos worldwide as part of the EEP.” She continued, “The Lion-tailed macaque breeding group at Fota is considered one of the most successful in Europe with over 40 born here so far. This troop is of critical importance to the international breeding programmes given how rare the species are becoming in the wild. We put our success down to the space and natural landscape provided in their habitat, which allows for a wide range of interactions among the individual macaques.”

Indigenous to the Western Ghats in southern India, the Lion-tailed macaque is of conservation concern due to its small numbers in the natural habitats, the small area of occupancy and fragmentation of the remaining habitats. They are hunted for meat and fur with only 1% of their original habitat remaining – because of timber harvesting and agriculture – and as their population numbers continue to decrease, the global captive population of 600 animals is equivalent to 17% of the entire wild population of 3,500 individuals in the Western Ghats region of India.

The not for profit Fota Wildlife Park cares for numerous animal species that are in danger of extinction. Through long-established breeding programmes, which are run cooperatively with other institutions around the world, the Park is helping restore populations of some species while protecting the very survival of others. Fota Wildlife Park has also been instrumental in successfully breeding and reintroducing several species that had become extinct in the wild including the Scimitar-horned oryx and European bison.

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Cobh Community Centre give generous donation to St. Vincent De Paul

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The cheque of €500 was presented to St. Vincent de Paul on Tuesday evening at the Community Centre. It was part of the proceeds from the Centre’s ‘Christmas Variety Concert’. John Coleman, Chairman of the Cobh Community Centre, thanked all the groups that performed at the concert last December, including nearby colleges St. Mary’s National School, Bunscoil Rinn an Chabhlaigh and Scoil Iosaef. Members of the Fundraising Committee – Manager, Gwen O’Halloran, Majella Smith, Martin O’Leary and Catherine Jefferson – also expressed their appreciation for the spirited and uplifting performances that were given last December by the Children’s Theatre, the Cope Foundation Day Unit, Pop & Rock and the Carrigtwohill Gospel Choir. Thanking the Cobh Community Centre, Liz O’Driscoll and Aine O’Regan from St. Vincent de Paul said, “Our charity receives much focus around Christmas time, which is a great thing, but our work is ongoing, year-round. Therefore, donations at this time of year are especially important to us.”

The Chairman used the presentation of the cheque to St. Vincent de Paul to announce ambitious plans to increase the usage of the Centre’s many and varied facilities. John noted, “Cobh Community Centre has great potential for hosting a variety of both community and commercial activities as well as training sessions. We offer convenience plus first-class facilities. That’s a package that’s hard to top! We are also constantly expanding and upgrading our classes and events. So, there is something here for everyone in the Cobh community…the Centre literally does what it says on the tin!”

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