Le­murr lle mer­rrri­ierr att zzoo


Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Front Page - Su­sanne Reilly

THERE may still be two sleeps un­til Christ­mas, but it seems the le­murs at Perth Zoo have been on the nice list and got some presents a lit­tle early.

Pri­mate keeper She­rina Bul­sara had the ring-tailed lemur group in the Christ­mas spirit last week when she gave them some tasty treats hid­den inside wrapped Christ­mas boxes.

The presents con­cealed some of the group’s favourite treats, in­clud­ing frozen berries, grapes and yo­ghurt smears.

A Perth Zoo spokes­woman said the fe­male lemur Zanaka “who rules the roost” and is rear­ing Septem­ber-born twins was very in­trigued by the box and keen to keep it from ev­ery­one else.

“Although her part­ner Gi­maro and fa­ther of their off­spring snuck a few treats when she wasn't look­ing,” she said.

The food presents were part of the zoo's en­vi­ron­men­tal en­rich­ment pro­gram, which en­cour­ages an­i­mals to for­age and work for food as well as pro­vid­ing men­tal and phys­i­cal stim­u­la­tion.

Le­murs are en­dan­gered, with habi­tat loss and hunt­ing the big­gest con­cern for the species. Clear­ing forests for agri­cul­ture and grazing has forced le­murs into shrink­ing ar­eas south and south­west of Mada­gas­car.

Perth Zoo keep­ers co-or­di­nate the Stud­book for this unique species, which in­volves keep­ing re­gional records for the le­murs and co-or­di­nat­ing breed­ing ef­forts through­out Aus­trala­sia. What’s on your Christ­mas wish list this year? Leave your com­ments at www.in­my­commu­nity.com.au

Pic­tures: Martin Ken­nealey

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee ee

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK? Ci­maro tucks in and (in­set) She­rina

Bul­sare with the le­murs.

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