Drusillas animals feel eclipse chill

Cuddling up to mum
Cuddling up to mum

As the solar eclipse took hold of the skies above Sussex this morning (Friday March 20), there was little to signify the spectacular event at Drusillas Park other than a chill in the air and an eerie half-light.

A layer of thick cloud obscured the full enjoyment of the rare phenomena, which will not be seen again on this scale until 2026.

Nevertheless, some of the Park’s animals did seem to feel the effects of a noticeable drop in temperature.

As the eclipse reached totality, the Park’s popular meerkats took shelter under their heat lamp. With one eye firmly on the skies above, the furry favourites huddled up to reveal the simples way to staying warm.

It was all a bit overwhelming for the youngest member of the lar gibbon family too. At just eight months old, Pudsey has not yet developed his full adult coat and nestled tightly to his mum as the moon drifted by.

The racoons decided it must be bedtime and returned to their nestbox for another forty winks.

However, for one veteran resident the sight of the eclipse was pretty old hat. At nearly 30 years old, Chuff Chuff the penguin is one of the zoo’s oldest residents. He has witnessed a number of eclipses throughout his lifetime including the total eclipse of 1999. Today he seemed far more interested in feasting on his breakfast of fish but in his defence the conditions were far from pppperfect.

Located just off the A27, Drusillas Park is open daily from 10am. For more information, please telephone 01323 874100 or visit www.drusillas.co.uk