Cute new lemurs arrive in Golders Hill Park

FOUR fluffy ring-tailed lemurs are the newest residents to arrive at Golders Hill Zoo.

The four female lemurs, a species of monkey which lives exclusively on the island of Madagascar, have arrived at the zoo from Yorkshire Wildlife Park.

Kirindy and her daughters Tibet and Nepal as well as their friend Rudi are all getting used to their new home in the park complete with rope swings, an outdoor heater and their own little home.

Team leader at the zoo Ross Hayes said the new additions are already proving a huge hit with residents and park-goers.

He said: “The lemurs are going to be one of the stars of the zoo. They are full of character and I am sure all visitors to the zoo will find them very entertaining and a great addition to the ever expanding animal collection.

“There are lots of different aspects of our zoo plan such as conservation and education which the lemurs fit in with. We use them for educating the children and teaching them about group animals.

“We have an all female group of four and we are going to see how that goes and get them settled in before looking in the future at getting a male for breeding.

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“They are really friendly and fun. They are another part of the collection plan we have had in place since last year.

“They love to swing and they are great fun to watch – always on the move. We will be doing public feeds and talks and we are having a special lemur day on September 26 between 3pm and 5pm.”

Mr Hayes and his team spent months researching the best husbandry techniques for the lemurs to ensure they are housed in their ideal environment.

They have consulted other zoos and specially built their environment to stimulate the monkeys with lots of rope swings and objects.

Lemurs are a near threatened species in Madagascar because their habitat is being destroyed and the zoo is also aiming to highlight the conservation message.

The four females display interesting behaviour and sounds including sunbathing and curling up into lemur balls to keep warm and to reaffirm social bonds.

They are the latest addition in the programme to develop Golders Hill Park Zoo, which is free to visit and open during normal park open hours.

Mr Hayes added: “Things have changed a lot at the zoo since April last year when we launched the collection plan and this is really the next big step for us.

“Lemurs are not something you see everyday so it is wonderful to have them here - you do not expect to come to a park and see monkeys.

“We are a small zoo but we wanted to bring all the great things about a larger zoo and incorporate them into here.

“We have also got two new Kookabura chicks which are the first time we have successfully bred which is great.”

Schools interested in education sessions built around the zoo and Golders Hill Park should contact the Education Centre on 020-7482 7073.