New lemurs for Natureland

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Natureland has some new visitors this summer – two ring-tailed lemurs.

The sisters, Namako and Kaylee arrived in Nelson on December 16th, coming from Orana Park in Christchurch.

It is the first time that Natureland has had lemurs, which will be their home until they move on to Australia to become part of a breeding group.

Keeper Brigitte Kreigemhofer says the girls, who are in their teenage years, have settled in to the Natureland family extremely well, but are still getting used to the planes flying overhead.

“They are really mellow and docile, and I’m excited to have a chance to work with them,” she says.

Brigitte also says they are pretty interested in their new neighbours too – the capuchins. And, the feeling is mutual, with lots of interactions going on between the two.

Natureland trustee Meg Rutledge says there are around 100 types of lemur, and the ring-tailed lemur used to be one of the most common – but it is now endangered.

They are only found on the island of Madagascar and are easily recognisable with its black and white striped tail.

Their favourite food is tamarind, a type of tree that grows in tropical climates – and they eat all parts of it.

Meg says that they are able to give them their much-loved snack, in addition to fruit, vegetables, leaves and nutrient complete biscuits.

If you are visiting Natureland this summer, the lemurs can be found in the old kea enclosure next to the capuchins.