28 March 2024

Whipsnade Zoo will transport visitors to the forests of southeast Asia this Easter – with the unveiling of Monkey Forest on Good Friday.  

It will be the first chance for visitors to the conservation zoo to see Francois Langurs and Sulawesi crested macaques, the latter of which have moved to Bedfordshire from zoos around the UK to form a new super-troop. Visitors will see the sociable monkeys as they journey through the Monkey Forest pathway, as well as coming face to face with curled-tusked Babirusa and lowland anoa, also known as ‘demons of the forest’, along the way.  

The new macaque habitat is the largest in the UK, covering 11,500m2, equivalent to 44 tennis courts. The habitat will incorporate a woodland of over 100 trees, providing the perfect habitat for the troop to clamber around and explore.

Sulawesi crested macaque walks across fallen tree
© Whipsnade Zoo
Baby Francois langur pokes head out from under Mum's arm where he is partially hidden.
Baby rhino born at Whipsnade Zoo

Along with the chance to see incredible animals Monkey Forest visitors will also learn about the threats facing the animals in the wild. Southeast Asia is a hotspot for incredible wildlife, but many species, like those in Monkey Forest, face extinction due to habitat loss and hunting.  

ZSL, the conservation charity behind Whipsnade Zoo, is working with palm oil production companies in Indonesia to encourage sustainable production and practices, which helps prevent the habitat loss which threatens many of the animals at Monkey Forest. ZSL also works alongside local communities and governments in Asia to halt the smuggling of precious animals like the critically endangered pangolin, as well as the poaching of tigers.  

The woodland forest setting is the perfect place for families to learn more about the incredible animals and to be inspired these Easter Holidays. 

If you treat your herd to a family membership, you’ll have already got your money’s worth around your second visit, and made tons of new memories too!

*Based on the average zoo admission prices for one or two adults with two children in relation to the family membership Direct Debit fee.

Animals at the Zoo

  • Asian elephant at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
    Elephas maximus

    Asian elephant

    Asian elephants are more closely related to the extinct woolly mammoth than to the African elephant.

  • Amur tiger at Whipsnade Zoo
    Panthera tigris altaica

    Amur tiger

    The largest and heaviest of the world’s big cats, as well as the heaviest, by the 1940s, fewer than 40 Amur tigers were thought to remain in the wild

  • Chimps eating at Whipsnade Zoo
    Pan troglodytes


    Chimps are more closely related to humans than gorillas, and you can watch our chimps regularly use tools at the Zoo.

  • Ruby the red panda in a tree at Whipsnade Zoo
    Ailurus fulgens

    Red panda

    A red panda's diet mainly consists of bamboo, and they have thick fur to protect them from their rainy, mountainous habitat in the Himalayas

  • Ricky the rockhopper penguin at Whipsnade Zoo
    Eudyptes moseleyi

    Rockhopper penguin

    These small penguins pack in a big personality, and Ricky the rockhopper penguin is one of our most famous animals.