Ring tailed lemur
Madagascar & Monkey Islands
The ring-tailed lemur is a prosimian. Prosimians appeared before apes and monkeys, and are so old that they lived while the dinosaurs walked the earth. In the past, there were prosimians in many places in the world, but today most are extinct because they have been outcompeted by other monkeys or pressured by predators and humans.
The ring-tailed lemur, and a bunch of other small lemur species, are found only on the African island of Madagascar. Lemurs are endemic species, which means that they exist only in a very small habitat, and for thousands of years they have lived isolated on the island of Madagascar. Since the adaptations to the many different habitats in the forests of southern and southwestern Madagascar, the ring-tailed lemur has not changed much since the time of the dinosaurs.
The ring-tailed lemur lives in groups of 15-20 animals. Most often it is the females that are dominant in such groups. The ring-tailed lemur has a gland on the forearms, which oozes a secretion for marking the territory. The males also smear this secret on the tail in their matches. The ring-tailed lemur communicates by sound, scent signals and body language.
When the youngsters are born, their eyes are blue and not yellowish brown as the adults eyes. The youngsters are carried around on the back of their mother, but all the females with offspring have shared childcare, which increases the youngsters chance of survival.
Today, the ring-tailed lemur or kata lemur is considered endangered, primarily because its natural habitats are being destroyed for the benefit of agriculture and plantation. They are also hunted because of their meat and lastly sold as pets. It is therefore important that the zoos work to maintain a genetically healthy stock of ring-tailed lemurs.
In Ree Park Safari you can visit the ring-tailed lemur on their very own monkey island, Madagascar. Here you have the opportunity to enjoy their exciting behavior very closely.
Ring tailed lemur
"...did you know that within the ring tailed lemurs, the females rule the family?"
On the map you can find where the different animal feedings take place