Adorable primates make their public debut
Visitors to Howletts Wild Animal Park, Kent’s most successful wild animal park, this summer holiday, will be able to spot two of the park’s latest arrivals – twin black and white ruffed lemurs, as the adorable primates make their public debut.
Matt Ford, Head of Primate Section said: ‘Our latest new arrivals are just starting to venture out of their indoor nursery, where they have been staying close to their first time parents, Akisa and Aramis. The youngsters are an endearing pair who are thoroughly enjoying playing and exploring their new environment in the walk through lemur enclosure.’
The adorable pair, born at the end of May this year, have been named Sofia and Sava, after regions in Northern Madagascar and are the first lemur twins to be born at the wild animal park in 16 years.
Jo Marden, Deputy Head of Primate Section added: ‘These are Akisa’s first babies and we couldn’t have hoped for her to be a better mother. She’s an incredibly attentive mum but now that the twins are out and about, she’s happy to let them explore their surroundings on their own but she is always on hand to ensure that they don’t take too many risks or get into too much trouble.’
Lemurs are native to the island of Madagscar and are not found in the wild anywhere else in the world. Widespread deforestation and hunting have decimated the populations of black and white ruffed lemurs in the wild and they are now listed as critically endangered on theIUCN Red List of Endangered Species.
Matt commented: ‘The twins are fantastic news, not only for the park but also for the species. We work closely with The Aspinall Foundation at their Madagascar project, protecting areas of forest and working with local communities to raise awareness of the lemur’s plight. Our teams in Madagascar have been counting species of lemurs and have already identified new populations, which is great news in terms of conservation.’