Fairbairn donation means new lemurs at Durrell

| July 14, 2009
3 Ring-tailed lemurs

3 Ring-tailed lemursA generous donation made by Fairbairn Private Bank will allow Durrell to start a new breeding programme for the Trust’s endangered ring-tailed lemurs.

Fairbairn Private Bank currently adopts the bachelor group of ring-tailed lemurs who have lived at the Trust for many years. The recent arrival of two new females, the cost of which has been covered by Fairbairn Private Bank through the donation, has greatly excited the three existing males – brothers Digit, Fang and Hannibal.

The two females from Chester Zoo are five-year-old Morticia and three-year-old Muriel. Morticia has brought with her a four-month-old son, who has yet to be named. Having arrived at Durrell in mid May, the lemurs have now completed their four-week quarantine period and have recently been moved to the park’s main Lemur Wood enclosure. In this large natural wooded area, they are in the process of being mixed with Durrell’s existing three male ring-tailed lemurs and a family of three red-fronted brown lemurs, who are also new to the Trust.

2 Ring-tailed lemursSenior Keeper at Durrell, Tim Wright, “From the moment they were first mixed, they have been eagerly watching each other. Life will probably not be quite so relaxed for the three brothers from now on, as female ring-tailed lemurs are very much the dominant gender of the species. It is hoped that, given time, they will breed.”

Durrell has been working with this endangered lemur since 1964 and has bred a total of 38 ring-tailed lemurs between 1974 and 1993. Following the great success of Durrell’s breeding programme, a non-breeding bachelor group were kept at the headquarters for around 15 years. However, Fairbairn Private Bank’s kind donation has enabled the breeding effort to resume, in order that Durrell can contribute to the captive population once more.

Baby Ring-tailed lemurDavid Stearn, head of private banking at Fairbairn Private Bank, said “We are delighted to support the breeding programme for the ring-tailed lemurs at Durrell’s headquarters. These programmes are vital in the education required to increase the sustainability of species in their home environment which is threatened, often by human activity.” He continued, “Durrell has kindly allowed the staff at Fairbairn Private Bank to suggest names for the baby lemur and we are all very eager to discover which name will be selected.”

Later this year, Durrell’s group of six ring-tailed lemurs and family of three red-fronted brown lemurs will be moving to a brand new purpose-built lemur enclosure in the renovated Walled Garden. The entire area is being transformed in order to showcase Durrell’s conservation work in the highly threatened dry forests of Madagascar.

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Category: Finance & Business, Isle of Man

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