Two Red-bellied Lemurs, one Collared Lemur and two Ring-tailed Lemurs, all primates endemic to the Island of Madagascar, were recently born in the spectacular interactive Lemur exhibit ?Madagascar?. The babies are on show to visitors, where they can be seen freely roaming the home they share with eighteen other Lemurs, including the striking Sifaka (also known as the ?Ghost Lemur?) as well as several native Madagascan birds.
?Our walkthrough Lemur exhibit goes from strength to strength and we have welcomed several new additions this year. The baby Ring-tailed, Collared and Red-bellied Lemurs can now be seen making the most of the unpredictable British Summer under the watchful gaze of their parents. This area has been enormously popular since its opening in 2008 and has been instrumental in raising funds for our Lemur conservation projects?
One baby in particular, Nelson (pictured right), has attracted much attention from visitors. One of his arms, due to complications at birth, had to be amputated by the Park?s vet, but this hasn?t stopped him being one of the most boisterous babies in the group. He can be seen exploring the exhibit with his sister Florence, father Una and mother Hira.
To highlight the plight of some of the rarest and most endangered primates in existence, Cotswold Wildlife Park recently held its second annual Lemur Week to raise awareness of Madagascar?s endangered Lemurs and funds for the Park?s Dabolava Sifaka Project. The project aims to study and protect isolated groups of Crowned Sifaka in their natural habitat. Curator Jamie Craig (pictured left with project researchers and trackers in Madagascar), is an advisor for both the Dabolava Sifaka Project and the Greater Bamboo Lemur European Endangered Species Programme. The Park is proud to be home to both these incredibly rare species. ?Thanks to the generosity of visitors, Lemur Week raised ?1054 for the Dabolava Sifaka Project.
Madagascar is sometimes referred to as ?Nature?s Attic? as it is home to many wonderful species which in other parts of the world would have become extinct. It is the fourth largest and oldest island in the world. Isolated from landmasses for 160 million years, it boasts an extraordinary rich biodiversity and is home to 5% of the world?s plant and animal species, more than 80% of which are endemic to Madagascar.
Cotswold Wildlife Park opens its doors at 10am every day, with last admission at 4.30pm and for more information see their main page here