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Aramis relaxing in his habitat. Photo courtesy of Phil Reeks.

Zookeeper’s Notebook: Spotlight on Black-and-White Ruffed Lemurs

It has been an eventful few months in the lemur walk-through at Howletts. With another crowned lemur born and the introduction of a black and white ruffed, there have been ten prosimians enjoying the mild weather and fruiting trees. Getting them to bed is tough when they have a permanent natural buffet on offer! In all, visitors can now hope to see 5 crowned lemurs, 3 red-bellies and 2 black and white ruffed’s (Varecia variegata). There is a hierarchy but […]

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Aprily & Kintana 2015

Zookeeper’s Notebook: Spotlight on Black Lemurs

A surprise addition – black lemurs Say it quietly, but there may be a type of lemur that loves the sun even more than ring-tails and ruffed lemurs. They are loud, brash, territorial and at times a real pain to work with—black lemurs. Since late March I have been lucky and amused to be volunteering alongside Eulemur macaco, the troublemakers of the Howletts walk-through. Like our crowned lemurs they are a family of four but with an extremely different dynamic. The […]

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King and Epi with Valana

Zookeeper’s Notebook: Spotlight on Crowned Lemurs

Following on from my article ‘Getting Started as a Volunteer Lemur Keeper’, I feel that crowned lemurs deserve a little limelight. I am very lucky to work with a family of four in Howletts’ walk-through, each with their own character and quirks. Mum & Dad Being a matriarchal species, the leader of the group is Epi. She is vocal, energetic, assertive and most importantly a loving mother. Like other lemurs, her favourite time of day is mealtime. But, she can […]

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Aramis, the black and white ruffed lemur at Howletts Wild Animal Park

Zookeeper’s Notebook: Getting Started as a Volunteer Lemur Keeper

I have spent an abnormal amount of time watching and listening to Youtube videos of lemurs and other primates. Where else can you hear an indri sing on demand? However, the site has a startling lack of black lemur videos, along with their unique and amusing grunts. It’s kind of pig-like but more nasal. So, one sunny Saturday in May last year I set off solo to Howletts Wild Animal Park. Rather than being a ‘zoo’ it has always handled […]

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