Woburn’s Land of Lemurs welcomes two endangered ring-tailed lemur baby twins

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Keepers at Woburn Safari Park have welcomed plenty of new arrivals to their Land of Lemurs this month – just in time for excited half-term visitors.

Two critically endangered white-belted ruffed lemurs joined the park fromNewquay Zoolast week, and two endangered ring-tailed lemur babies were born to mum Kirindy just a few weeks ago.

Father-and-son-duo, six-year-old Asotry and 12-year-old Bary, will live alongside the black-and-white ruff, ring-tailed and red-bellied lemurs as a bachelor group, helping educate visitors about the threats white-belted ruffed lemurs face as a Critically Endangered species. They arrived on Friday, May 10 with the help of our dedicated Foot Safari keepers, and have been settling in quickly to their new woodland home since.

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White-belted ruffed lemurs are one of the world’s most endangered primates, a critically endangered sub-species of the black-and-white ruffed lemur originating from Madagascar. Unfortunately, they are threatened by habitat loss which is decreasing their wild populations, which have left only 10,000 individuals remaining in the wild. Breeding programmes are helping to conserve this species, but at present there are more males than females living in EAZA zoos and safari parks.

Ring tailed lemurs demonstrate strong bonds within the troopRing tailed lemurs demonstrate strong bonds within the troop
Ring tailed lemurs demonstrate strong bonds within the troop

EAZA Ex situ Programmes (EEPs) are population management programmes for animal species that are managed by EAZA Members. The aim of EEPs is to have and maintain healthy populations of animals within EAZA and beyond. Within these programmes bachelor or non-breeding groups are vitally important to species conservation in zoos and safari parks across Europe.

Bachelor holders of EEP species are important establishments where males can live, to either stop them inhibiting breeding at a certain zoo or safari park, or provide a place for them to live until a breeding recommendation has been made. Therefore, holding bachelor groups, like Woburn Safari Park in the case of white-belted lemurs in particular, are vital to ensuring the continued success of EEPs.

Keepers were also delighted to announce the recent birth of twin ring-tailed lemur babies, born to proud mum Kirindy. The tiny twins have been spotted clinging to their mumto the delight of visitors.

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The twins' arrival is of particular importance, as ring-tailed lemurs are listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list. Like the white-belted lemurs, they are only found on the island of Madagascar and their wild populations are threatened by hunting and deforestation.

Close up of Ring tailed lemur twinsClose up of Ring tailed lemur twins
Close up of Ring tailed lemur twins

This half-term, visitors can see the youngsters begin to spend time away from their mum, as they learn to climb and jump around! Visitors will also be able to spot new arrivals Asotry and Bary from the May 26, when they settle into their exciting new home in their Land of Lemurs walkthrough enclosure.

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