Pickpocketing lemur and cleaning sloth make animal park's naughty and nice lists

211221-animal xmas list drusillas park
Credit: Drusillas Park

A lemur known for swiping items out of visitors' bags has topped the naughty list this year at a zoo in East Sussex.

Shadow has been the most infamous member of Drusillas Park lemur family for many years.

Keepers say he is often caught rifling through handbags and swiping items right out of the hands of unsuspecting visitors.

Zookeepers have to keep a check on their furry children’s behaviour, with the majority of the animals staying firmly in the good books all year round.

But they have reported that some of the residents’ antics just can’t be overlooked. Their cases were put forward on social media with the public voting on who the naughtiest animals of the year were.

These animals are on the zoo's naughty list. Credit: Drusillas Park

Who else made the naughty list?

Smudge the Shetland pony – this year Smudge took a particular disliking to regular dental check ups, and now has to be sedated for appointments, for the safety of the dentist!

Squirrel monkeys - the entire troop of Squirrel monkeys have been jumping all over keepers, pulling hairbands out of hair, stealing out of pockets, and even removing shoelaces.

Patsy and Eddie the Yellow armadillos – having only arrived at the park in the summer of 2021, Patsy and Eddie didn’t have long to claim their spot on the naughty list, so they got straight to work. They spent their early days clawing at the floor of the brand new enclosure which the estate team had lovingly built for them, so much so, they destroyed it.

These animals made it onto the nice list this year. Credit: Drusillas Park

Who is on the nice list?

Keepers have also revealed the animals who made the nice list in time for Christmas, including a sloth who, although slowly, helps the team to clean his enclosures.

Norbert, Daggett and Jasper – have taken it upon themselves to help with their enclosure cleaning, and often help carry items from the cleaning bucket for the keepers.

Gordon the sloth – another cleaning enthusiast, Gordon obviously doesn’t feel comfortable with watching his keepers do all the work, so he now makes his way down to the cleaning bucket and (very slowly) hands the sponges to them.

Spike and Rose the porcupines – although working with animals is wonderful, any keeper will tell you that cleaning up after them isn’t exactly glamorous, but Spike and Rose have made that part of the job so much easier by toilet training themselves and only using one neat little corner when nature calls.

Einstein the Saki monkey – Einstein has begun gathering ‘nice’ stones from his enclosure before feeding time and offering them to the keepers as payment for his meals.

Zoo Animal Manager, Mark Kenwood, said: “The animals we care for at Drusillas really do become our children in a way, so leading up to Christmas we are always telling the cheeky ones that they need to behave or Santa might not visit them!

"But don’t worry, even those on the naughty list will be getting some extra love this Christmas… it’s hard to stay mad for long!”