Go bananas for new farm centre arrival

Monkey business is keeping keepers busy at a Northumberland animal attraction as an adorable new arrival joins the residents.

This tiny marmoset monkey is making her public debut at Whitehouse Farm Centre near Stannington, where she was born this summer.

Baby marmoset at Whitehouse Farm

Baby marmoset at Whitehouse Farm

The 40-acre farm re-homed adult monkeys, Eric and Ethel, in January and keepers soon became convinced that Ethel was pregnant.

They kept a close eye on her and one evening towards the end of July, she gave birth to the farm’s new arrival.

The baby marmoset was kept out of the public eye until she came through the crucial early weeks.

But now she is the star attraction as she enjoys exploring her new enclosure and its outdoor access in the mild weather.

Sally Slater, who works at Whitehouse, said: “New arrivals are always a cause for celebration, especially this birth, with it being the first marmoset born at the farm.

“Visitors have been mesmerised by this feisty little marmoset and they are fascinated by watching how agile she is. She is very inquisitive and pulls some rather funny faces.

“The baby marmoset is thriving and gaining more independence day by day. Eating solid food now, she enjoys a variety of fruit, vegetables, mealworms and locusts, one of her favourite foods being bananas.”

Eric has taken on the role of the main carer for the offspring, regularly carrying it on his back and only handing it to Ethel for feeding.

To mark his contribution, the centre is offering free entry to all fathers accompanying a paying child this week, until Sunday.

The family-run attraction is also seeking visitors’ help to find a suitable name for the energetic baby monkey.

Anyone visiting the farm before Tuesday, October 21, can enter a competition to name the marmoset, while online entries can be submitted via its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

Whitehouse Farm Centre opened in 1997 and welcomes, families, schools and group visits, allowing visitors of all ages to see, handle and feed a variety of animals, from traditional breeds to exotic species. For more information, visit www.whitehousefarmcentre.co.uk