The new walkthrough is home to four different species of lemur. Critically endangered Alaotran gentle lemurs and black-and white-ruffed lemurs and endangered crowned lemurs and ring-tailed lemurs are joined in the exhibit by a new species for Marwell – two endangered green peafowl.
Guests will enjoy sharing the beautifully landscaped habitat of these engaging animals in a new, themed exhibit at the giraffe house, focussing on the evolution of the species. The new experience, with both indoor and outdoor sections, will immerse visitors into a densely planted lemur environment.
The Madagascan creatures have spent the past few weeks settling into their new environment, which aims to closely resemble their natural habitat, encouraging them to leap, climb and sunbathe freely as people walk alongside them. Animal Collection Manager Ross Brown said: “We’ve designed the enclosure in a way that promotes natural behaviours, which is a key part of it”.
Ross and team have also been taking a close look at the lemurs’ diets as the different sub-species have distinct requirements. Alongside this the groups have also gradually been getting used to sharing their space with people, with members of staff spending increasing amounts of time in their enclosures to ‘test the waters’.
Zoo staff will be on hand every day until 4pm to teach groups about the loveable lemur troop and their habitats in the ‘Evolution Hub’; from learning about the story of lemur evolution and diversity, to taking part in observation and skills-based activities.
Visitors to Marwell Zoo can already meander among marsupials in the Wallaby Walkthrough and enjoy close-up views of diverse birdlife in the walkthrough aviary.
James Cretney is Chief Executive Officer at Marwell: “We are thrilled to open this fantastic new exhibit, which is part of a £17 million ten-year investment programme for the zoo. The programme will create new and improved habitats for the animals and offer more immersive experiences for our guests.
“I’m looking forward to seeing lots of guests, young and old, enjoying the unique encounters in the Lemur Loop over the summer and beyond.”
Marwell Wildlife is a registered charity, Number: 275433 which is dedicated to the conservation of biodiversity and the natural world.
Marwell Wildlife is about connecting people with nature. As a conservation charity (275433), it is action oriented and at the forefront of conservation work around the world, working in partnership with communities, statutory agencies and other non-governmental organisations. Its projects extend from the reintroduction of desert antelopes in the Sahara through to community based projects in Northern Kenya and habitat restoration in the south of England.
The charity engages with over 35,000 children and young people through their conservation educational programmes, and welcomes over 500,000 visitors each year to its 140 acre zoological park. In every contact it seeks to encourage understanding, and inspire care for the natural world. It relies on the generous support and enthusiasm of its fundraisers and visitors to finance its conservation work and help secure a better future for endangered wildlife for generations to come.
Marwell Wildlife is a member of the British and Irish Association of zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA). BIAZA represents its member collections and promotes the values of good zoos and aquariums.