ZOOKEEPERS are celebrating after welcoming a host of new arrivals in recent weeks.

From pigeons and blue duikers to a Suffolk punch horse these are the animals setting up home at Colchester Zoo.

Victoria Crowned Pigeon chick

Victoria Crowned Pigeon breeding pair, Violet and Ozzy have welcomed their seventh chick in April.

The chick stayed in the nest close to mum and dad during the first few weeks, with them both being very attentive.


The youngster has since fledged the nest sooner than we expected but it is doing extremely well and is learning the ropes from its older sibling.

A spokesman for the zoo said: "Crowned-pigeons are the largest pigeons in the world and are regarded as one of the most handsome of all pigeons.

"This exciting news is very important to the conservation of this species as the Victorian crowned-pigeon is classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List."

Blue duiker calf

Adorable young female blue duiker calf has arrived at the zoo.

Keepers found her snuggled up to mum Jasmine on the morning of April 17.

Jasmine and dad Jafar have been very attentive to the young calf, who is their third baby together.

Since confirming the new arrival is female keepers have decided to call her Florence and her big sister Penelope has been showing her the ropes and helping mum and dad.

The word ‘duiker’ comes from the Afrikaans word meaning ‘diver’, named due to their habit of diving for cover when disturbed.

The blue duiker is monogamous, with pairs such as our choosing to mate for life. The species is currently listed as Least Concern on the IUCN red list.

The blue duikers share their home at with the blue cranes.

Suffolk Punch horse

Oaken is a beautiful horse who recently joined the zoo from the Suffolk Punch Trust following many years being a part of the trust’s four horse pulling team.

The Suffolk Punch is an English breed of draught horse, well known for the part it played in helping to shape this countries landscape. The large stocky nature of these horses made them ideal for pulling the plough and carrying when the UK was first being industrialised.


This species is now sadly a rare site in the UK with the Suffolk Punch Trust working to increase the numbers of the breed.

A spokesman for the zoo said: "Oaken has a lovely temperament and has already shown to be a gentle giant. His shiny chestnut coat and solid stature certainly makes him stand out and he will gradually be introduced to the other horses and spend some time out in the fields whilst he settles into his new home.

"Colchester Zoo’s horses and two donkeys spend their time at our farm area on a rotational basis; Oaken is not currently available to see whilst he settles in but we hope Oaken will be available for visitors to meet in the coming weeks."

Baby red river hogs are named

Born on in April to first time parents mum Charlie and Dad Piggles Jr, the two piglets have been doing extremely well.


The zoo has now confirmed they have one male and one female piglet.

Keepers have since named the piglets, Miss Piggy and Kermit the Hog.