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Mandrillus sphinx

PZ Mandril Enrichment 08 20 AD LR 1
IUCN Conservation Status –
Least Concern
Extinct In The Wild
Class: Mammals
Order: Primates
Family: Cercopithecidae

Paignton Zoo is home to a troop of mandrills that live in the centre of the zoo near the rhinos.

Mandrills typically live in large groups in tropical forests across Gabon, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Equatorial Guinea.

These large monkeys are omnivores, eating seeds, fruit, fungi, small lizards and insects.

Interesting facts!

  • Mandrills are confident movers both in trees and on the ground. When on ground level, they walk on all fours.
  • There is a defined social hierarchy within mandrill troops. Each unit is led by a dominant male who mates with all the females in the group. After a gestation of 6 months, females give birth to a single infant.
  • In Disney’s The Lion King, one of the main characters, the ‘baboon’ called Rafiki, is actually a mandrill with a characteristic, colourful face!


This primate is mainly affected by deforestation of their natural habitat for logging, however hunting for bushmeat is also a serious threat.

We have been successful in the past at breeding mandrills, and our individuals are part of the EAZA ex-situ breeding programme (EEP) for the species.