For the first time, the public is invited to see lemurs swinging through the Calgary Zoo.
The Land of Lemurs exhibit is open with 13 ring tailed red fronted, and black and white ruffed species now inhabiting a space unlike anything else made for the animal in North America.
Dr. Clément Lanthier says the lemurs are ambassadors to the public, and will help save their habitat in Madagascar.
“I’ve seen a lot of smiles, big, big smile(s). People are moved by the opportunity to be that close to the lemur, and to see them with no barrier is just amazing.”
You will actually be able to walk amongst the lemurs, as they are not in cages.
The exhibit is open air, with the lemurs allowed to walk on the ground, on the ropes and trees above, or sit in hanging pods.
That allows visitors to see close-up an animal that needs help.
“The majority of them are in critical state or very much endangered, so, what we needed to do is to build a population and use the lemur at the zoo as an ambassador to try to establish community-based conservation in Madagascar,” says Lanthier.
The zoo is partnered with the University of Calgary and an NGO, with a commitment of up to $100,000 to help restore the endangered animal’s habitat.