UK Zoo Gives Endangered Monkey 'Endangered' Name

A zoo in East Sussex is contributing to the rescue of a critically endangered monkey species as well as a human name that is falling out of use.

Drusillas Park near Alfriston announced on January 20 that they had given their new infant cotton-top tamarin monkey the endangered name of Nigel.

Data from the Office of National Statistics showed that 10 or fewer newborn boys were named Nigel in the UK in 2021, earning the name endangered status.

The IUCN Red List classifies the cotton-top tamarin as “critically endangered”, with an estimated 2,000 mature individuals in the wild.

Gemma Romanis, head keeper at Drusillas, said, "It made me feel a little sad that these names are disappearing, and I thought it could be a fun tradition to give our most endangered animals names that no one chooses anymore.

“Cotton-tops are under threat of extinction in the wild due to extensive deforestation and the illegal pet trade, so the healthy arrival of Nigel provides a small but crucial boost for the population, and we’re really proud to play our part in the future survival of this beautiful primate,” Romanis said.

Nigel was born at Drusillas on December 17 to 15-year-old female Florencia and her 12-year-old mate Pasto. Nigel is the ninth baby cotton-top tamarin to be born at Drusillas. Credit: Drusillas Park via Storyful

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