Mandrill

Mandrill at Wingham Wildlife Park

Size

Males can reach up to 90cm while females are smaller at around 65cm. This is a stocky primate with males weighing up to 35Kg, while females are around half this weight.

Habitat and Distribution

This primate tends to live in rainforest and forest areas interspersed with savannah through Souther Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Congo.

Age

In the wild this species can live for 20 years, while captive individuals have been recorded as living almost twice as long.

Diet

The omnivorous diet of this species is mainly made up of fruits but they will also eat a number of insects and eggs.

Groups and Breeding

A group of Mandrills is called a horde with an average group in the wild being made up of anywhere between 600 and 850 individuals, however the largest recorded had in excess of 1,300 members. Many males however will leave the group and spend their lives alone looking for a new group of females to take over. The gestation of these animals is 175 days, with the majority of births occurring from January to May (in the wet season when food is most abundant).

Threats

These animals are vulnerable to extinction, largely due to deforestation in their natural habitat, however their biggest threat (especially for groups living near people) is from illegal hunting for the bushmeat trade.

Interesting facts

The males of this species are very brightly coloured, and Charles Darwin remarked. “no other member in the whole class of mammals is coloured in so an extraordinary manner as the adult male Mandrills”.