Isle of Man News - POSTED Thu 10-08-2017

Late arrival enchants visitors to Curraghs Wildlife Park

by LC

Late arrival enchants visitors to Curraghs Wildlife Park

A new baby lemur is enchanting summer visitors to the Curraghs Wildlife Park.

The ring-tailed lemur was born in late July to two of the park’s resident lemurs, mum Sakaraha and dad Rhea.

Its birth brings the number of ring-tailed lemurs at the park to seven.

Like all lemurs, the ring-tailed animal is endemic to the island of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.

In the last 17 years, numbers there have decreased by 95% due to poaching and forest clearance. As few as 2000 remain.

Although zoo populations are healthy, the International Union for Conservation of Nature still lists ring-tailed lemurs as an endangered species.

Kathleen Graham, General Manager of the Curraghs Wildlife Park in Ballaugh, said: ‘With their striking markings and friendly nature, ring-tailed lemurs are popular with our visitors.

‘We are really pleased that our group has a new baby, albeit quite late in the season, as in the Northern hemisphere births are usually in the spring.

‘The sex of our new arrival hasn’t been determined yet. Young lemurs begin to eat solid food after two months and are fully weaned after five months. One of the characteristics of lemurs is that they like to sunbathe sitting with their arms open facing the sun, so if we have good weather for the rest of summer, our baby should be out and about and easy to spot.’

Kathleen said: ‘By Easter 2018, our new ‘Lemurs of Madagascar’ habitat will be open, providing modern housing for not only our ring-tailed family but also our black and white and gentle lemurs, and three female red-ruffed lemurs we will be acquiring as part of the European Endangered Species Programme.

‘We will link the exhibit to a conservation project in Madagascar to help lemurs in the wild.’

The Curraghs Wildlife Park is home to 75 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and invertebrates.

It is open daily from 10am to 6pm (last admission 5pm) until the end of school’s autumn half term, when it reverts to winter hours.

Summer ‘Family Fun Days’, with extra attractions, continue on Thursdays until 24th August.

To book tickets, purchase memberships or find out more, visit www.curraghswildlifepark.com

You can follow the park on facebook at Curraghs Wildlife Park, on Twitter at @lizwildlifepark and the park will launch its Instagram feed shortly.

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