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We currently have five species of lemur at the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary

Lemurs are only found in Madagascar where an astonishing variety can be found, though, sadly, all species are in decline.

We are proud to demonstrate our dedication to the preservation of animal species and the education of our visitors in two main ways. Firstly by sending funds to support a charity in Madagascar itself (the MFG) for conservation work there and, secondly, by being involved here, under strict global protocols, with breeding programmes.

Did you know…? Females are dominant in nearly all species of lemur.

No one knows quite how many species of lemur there are. There are lots of disagreements amongst scientists! Lemurs are not monkeys, although they do share a common ancestor. Lemurs are classed as prosimians. If you love lemurs, why not enjoy their company up close by pre-booking one of our amazing Lemur Experiences?

Lalaina

Conservation Status: Critically Endangered

Species: Black & White Ruffed Lemur

Lalaina was born here in the Sanctuary. She most definitely rules the roost, keeping her playfellows in order and making sure she gets first choice at dinner time! One of her favourite activities is looking for a way out of her enclosure.

Earl

Conservation Status: Critically Endangered

Species: Black & White Ruffed Lemur

Earl joined our family from Paradise Wildlife Park in summer 2018. Earl loves attention through the fence from his human carers and is the more dominant of our two males.

Darnelle

Conservation Status: Critically Endangered

Species: Black & White Ruffed Lemur

Darnelle came to us in summer 2018 from Paradise Wildlife Park. Darnelle is the lower ranking of our two males and is definitely the more laid-back of the two boys, keeping his distance and deferring to the boss – Lalaina!

Mangoky

Conservation Status: Endangered

Species: Ring-tailed Lemur

Mangoky is the grand-daughter of Michelle and niece of Yolande. Rejected at birth by her mother, Mangoky was hand-reared by the dedicated staff of the primate section, and as a result, has never come to grasp lemur rules of socialisation. Mangoky therefore spends her time apart from the main family group as sole companion to male Suarez and these two are, happily, a match made in heaven!

Michelle

Conservation Status: Endangered

Species: Ring-tailed Lemur

Michelle arrived at the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary from Chester Zoo when she was about a year old and is the group’s dominant female. This summer, Michelle has asserted her authority with lemurs and humans alike!

Tsingy

Conservation Status: Endangered

Species: Ring-tailed Lemur

Tsingy was born at the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary and was raised by his mother. He is named after the spiky rock formation which occurs within the ring-tailed lemurs’ range and the word Tsingy means “to tiptoe”. He is brother to Zebedee and is the lowest ranking of the group. Every year he receives a birthday card from one his biggest fans, Dame Judi Dench.

Yolande

Conservation Status: Endangered

Species: Ring-tailed Lemur

Yolande was born at the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary and raised by her mother Michelle and can be distinguished by her black eye patches that are pointed towards her forehead.

Zebedee

Conservation Status: Endangered

Species: Ring-tailed Lemur

Zebedee was born at the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary and raised by his mother. As his name might suggest, Zebedee is a bouncy individual and enjoys interacting with his human carers. He is the older brother to Tsingy.

Suarez

Conservation Status: Endangered

Species: Ring-tailed Lemur

Suarez came to us in 2011 from Chessington Zoo. He makes the perfect partner for mercurial Mangoky as he is good at doing what he’s told most of the time! But can stand his ground if necessary!

Bella

Conservation Status: Endangered

Species: White Fronted Brown Lemur

Bella was born in Cologne Zoo and she came to us in 1990 via Cricket St. Thomas. Bella’s three babies, who were born here, went on to take part in the breeding programme elsewhere. Due to her amazing old age, Bella is now retired and taking life at a leisurely pace!

Andro

Conservation Status: Critically Endangered

Species: Red-ruffed Lemur

Back in 2009, Andro (whose name means ‘moon’) came to us for hand-rearing at just a day old after he was rejected by his mother at the Pheasant Foundation. Andro showed unusual problematic behaviours in his early development and has since been diagnosed with health issues. For this reason, despite being a species in decline in the wild, Andro would not be beneficial for the breeding programme.

Bonnie

Conservation Status: Critically Endangered

Species: Red-ruffed Lemur

Born in Paignton Zoo, Bonnie came to us via another UK collection in order to keep Andro company. Her keepers recall that, to start with, she spent most of her time putting Andro ‘on the naughty step’ while he learned who was in charge!

McLovin

Conservation Status: Critically Endangered

Species: Mongoose Lemur

McLovin has the most adorable, huge amber eyes and is incredibly precious to us. Wild born and captured illegally, McLovin was originally a victim of the pet trade, having been bought by a Polish sailor. He came to join the breeding programme here at the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary in 2009 from Paradise Wildlife Park via a number of European zoos. He was retired from the programme two years ago. Although now elderly, he still has the character to ward off any human he dislikes!

Catherine

Conservation Status: Critically Endangered

Species: Mongoose Lemur

Born elsewhere in the UK, Catherine came to us from Lynton Zoo in 2006. She used to be on the breeding programme with McLovin but when he retired, she seemed more than happy with his replacement, cute little Bjork who was sent from Port Lympne Zoo.

Bjork

Conservation Status: Critically Endangered

Species: Mongoose Lemur

Bjork is a cheeky little chappy. Somewhat of a scaredy cat, he is respectful to Catherine and patiently waits his turn for food.

Mitsio

Conservation Status: Vulnerable

Species: Black Lemur

Mitsio came to us in 2009 from a Zoological Park in France. He has successfully bred two daughters here at the sanctuary. He is a stunningly beautiful and graceful boy who often chooses to allow his favourite humans to give him a little tickle on the top of his head through the enclosure mesh.

Adala

Conservation Status: Vulnerable

Species: Black Lemur

Adala joined Mitsio on the breeding programme from Dudley Zoo in 2006. Adala was not the most forceful of females and was soon bullied by her daughters when they reached breeding age. For this reason she and Mitsio were separated and, now they have no teenage behaviour to deal with, she is back to her old spritely self!

Antaly & Kintana

Conservation Status: Vulnerable

Species: Black Lemur

Antaly came along first in 2011 and Kintana (whose name means ‘star’) followed two years later. Unusually, these two females assume joint-responsibility for dominance and are affectionately referred to as the ‘tag team’, as they take it in turns to call the shots.