Lemur the merrier as new arrivals settle

Mouse Lemurs, 'Mort' and 'Mindy', photograph taken at the Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre
Mouse Lemurs, 'Mort' and 'Mindy', photograph taken at the Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre

THEre are some tiny new arrivals at the Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre.

Two Grey Mouse Lemurs, the smallest primates in the world, are settling into their new home in North Anston. The new arrivals are a mother and daughter pair, with Mort aged four and Mindy, aged just ten months.

They have moved in with the centre’s popular Pygmy Hedgehogs and Tenrecs, in an enclosure in the nocturnal area of the indoor butterfly house.

Although related to monkeys, the Mouse Lemurs have a mouse-like appearance, with large glossy eyes and round eyes.

They are only found on Madagascar.

Zoo curator and manager, Andrew Reeve, said: “They are nocturnal; spending the cooler hours at night usually alone, feeding on nectar, flowers, fruit and insects, and during the day will gather with others and share tree holes in ‘sleeping groups’.

We have set up the lighting to mimic their natural environment.”

Grey Mouse Lemurs are not officially listed as an endangered species, the population trend is decreasing as a result of habitat loss through deforestation, which is often to make way for agricultural development.

They do breed well in captivity and their popularity with zoo visitors helps to raise awareness of the species in the wild.

There popularity grew following the release of the animated film, Madagascar, which featured a cute character called Mort, who is a Mouse Lemur.