Newbies & babies
There's still time for a BIG day out this summer! Join us this bank holiday weekend to see our exciting new arrivals and adorable babies born at the reserve in recent weeks.Buy tickets
Giraffe fans will already be familiar with our new boy Zabuni, who arrived in July from Dublin Zoo.
"Zabuni is getting on well with the herd and has slowly been finding his feet on the African Experience. He is very good at coming up to see the guests at Giraffe Lodge at tea time. We have also seen some promising behaviour between himself and one of the females, Lunar."
Deputy Head of African Experience, Victoria Snook
Our western lowland gorilla family at the Palace of the Apes welcomed a new baby to the group in May.
"Our new baby girl, Kafele, is doing really. She's starting to gain confidence and curiosity in her surroundings and we're starting to see her sit and stand by herself. Her mother Oundi is doing fantastically well with her second baby, and has surprised us all with her attentiveness and care towards her first daughter. Grandmother Sangha is also helping out occasionally, making sure Oundi is supported and Kafele is safe. It's been lovely to watch Oundi embracing her role and enjoying caring for her daughter, and we're excited to see Kafele become an active member of the group as she gets older."
Daisy Fermor, Deputy Head Gorilla Keeper
"Mateo, our new male Andean bear arrived with us a few weeks ago and is settling in to life at port lympne well. He has been exploring all the enclosure has to offer including trashing all the trees, cooling off in his large pool and enjoying his amazing views out to sea! Mateo is a confident calm bear who is still only young, so he likes to be active. His climbing skills aren’t the best yet but he can often be seen practicing these skills high up on the logs. He also enjoys working out all the new enrichment his keepers give him.
For Rina, our resident female Andean bear, it's safe to say it wasn’t love at first sight. Being a bit older than him she is a bit grumpy and set in her ways, so she is adjusting to life with a younger bear. Mateo likes Rina though and can often be heard trilling to her. Rina is full of attitude and sometimes shouts at Mateo if he tries to steal her favourite treats. He respects her space but also doesn’t let her boss him around too much. For the most part they get along well, foraging next to each other, sharing the same enclosure but not quite the same bed yet. The keepers have high hopes their love will blossom over time!"
Sarah Wills, Head Large Carnivore Keeper
If you're very patient you may spot Tiombe the porcupine on a little daytime stroll, although he has spent most of his days snoozing since his recent arrival at the reserve!
"Tiombe has settled in and can often be seen sleeping outside during the day. We are still looking for a lady to keep him company and we hope to find his ideal match soon."
Jamie Robertson, Head Primate Keeper
NEW for 2023
"Our brand-new banded mongoose enclosure is near completion. The team have worked hard getting the final furnishings and touches in place ready for our brother-sister duo, Borrel and Piep. They have a brilliantly sized space to explore together and make their mark. As a team we are excited to see them thrive in their new enclosure.
We hope to have the mongoose pair moved in before the bank holiday weekend, with photos of them enjoying their new environment certain to follow!"
Katie Cox, Deputy Head of Small Carnivores
Our new arrivals are waiting to meet you this bank holiday weekend! Buy your tickets now to make sure you don't miss our adorable newbies and babies.