New rare species is Easter attraction at Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Rare male Red-Bellied Lemur
Rare male Red-Bellied Lemur

Two rare Yorkshire Wildlife Park residents have made it an exciting Easter for families visiting the popular attraction.

Lively male Red-Bellied lemurs have just arrived to join the park’s vibrant troop at the Lemur Woods reserve.

They are already making friends with the 15 endangered Ring-tailed lemurs among the trees in the one-acre woods.

“They are an incredible species of lemur and we are delighted they have joined our family,” said Simon Marsh, animal collection manager of the park at Branton, near Doncaster.

“It is great that they are here in time for Easter as visitors will really enjoy seeing such a rare animal while enjoying the immersive experience of the Lemur Woods.”

Red-Bellied lemurs, which are native to Madagascar, have been hit by disappearing habitat and have been hunted to the point where numbers have declined by 30 per cent over the last 24 years. YWP is lucky to have the new residents as there are only 150 in the world in wildlife parks and zoos.

The species, which is officially classed as vulnerable on the IUCN (the International Union for the Conservation of Nature) Red List, lives between 20 to 25 years and eats a diet of fruits, flowers and leaves.

“It is great to welcome them to the park and I’m sure they will be a big hit with visitors over Easter and beyond,” added Mr Marsh.

“There are only around 150 in captivity around the entire world so it is incredibly rare to meet them. We are extremely proud to be supporting this vulnerable species.”

In addition YWP Foundation has made a £15,000 three-year grant to establish and run a protected reserve in north-west Madagascar for blue-eyed black lemurs.