We’ve had a lemur baby boom here at Flamingo Land.
Five of our ring-tailed lemurs have recently given birth to four healthy babies, plus one set of twins.The new arrivals bring our number of lemurs to 27.
At around 2 weeks old, most of the babies can be seen clinging to their mums’ chests, with the larger among them big enough to start riding round on their backs. A couple are even brave enough to hop down to the ground and investigate the fruit and veg being fed to the adults, even though they’re a couple of months off being able to eat it.
We keep three species of lemurs at the zoo, namely ring-tailed lemurs, red-bellied lemurs and mongoose lemurs.
Ring-tailed lemurs are perhaps the best known and are common in zoos worldwide, but their popularity is in no small part due to the film Madagascar. Although in the film, King Julian leads the lemur troop, you would never actually see a lemur king in real life as it’s the girls who are in charge.
Our ring-tailed troop is led by Ruth, who is also our oldest lemur at 19 years of age – this is impressive as wild females rarely make it past 16. Ruth is one of our mums, with Maisy, Mindy and Rainbow also each having one baby, and Paris with two.
A lemur is classed as primate that comes from Madagascar, and there are around 100 species found there today.
Unfortunately, almost all of them are threatened or endangered, primarily due to habitat loss, hunting and the pet trade. 17 species have become extinct in the past 26,000 years, all of them larger than the largest lemurs found today, including a gorilla-sized, sloth-shaped, 200kg species. It is important that zoos maintain a stable worldwide population of lemurs in case the destruction of the Madagascan rainforests continues.
The new babies can be found in our walkthrough lemur enclosure, and your best chance of seeing them is at the 2pm lemur talk and feed.