East Sussex zoo becomes the second collection in the UK to hold rare and remarkable species
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With just four of the species in the whole country, the magnificent marten duo makes up half the British population of the animals.
With just 40 pairs of yellow-throated martens in Europe, the Zoo is overjoyed to be able to give visitors the chance to get nose to nose with these unique creatures. Martens are part of a family of mammals called mustelids, which also includes their 'cousins' badgers, otters, and weasels.
Their fur ranges from dark-brown to yellow-brown, and they have a stunning bright yellow throat.
Drusillas marvellous marten pair, Niko and Sasha, are ‘settling in very well’ according to the zoo’s keeper team. The cute couple have been making themselves at home in their brand new enclosure, showing off their smarts by solving food puzzles and exploring various enrichment toys on offer, and scoffing their favourite gourmet snack: frog legs.
The opportunity to work with the yellow-throated martens was a real 'bucket list' moment for Zoo Animal Manager Mark Kenward, who said: "Being able to work with this incredible species is a career high from my point of view. These are two of just four in the whole of the UK. Many Zookeepers will never have this chance, so it's a real 'pinch me' moment to be part of the team looking after Niko and Sasha.
"Both of the martens are very interactive with keepers and have very individual personalities. Sasha is very confident and playful with her food, you can spot her throwing things around and having a whale of a time! Niko is a lot more laid back and quite reserved, but they both really enjoy the enrichment that we give and are good puzzle solvers, we love dreaming up activities to keep them busy.
"With just 40 pairs of yellow-throated martens in Europe it's very special to have this species at Drusillas and a real privilege. We're really excited for our visitors to be able to 'meet' this incredible pair of unique animals that you won't see at most zoos."