Cotswold Wildlife Park's Lemur Week marked by 70th breeding success

A wildlife park has celebrated its 70th lemur breeding success ahead of a week raising money to help save the endangered primates.

Cotswold Wildlife Park, near Burford, Oxfordshire, has just announced the birth of ring-tailed lemur twins.

Lemur Week, which starts today until 2 June, aims to raise awareness and funds for the world's most endangered lemurs.

The park's open-air Madagascar exhibit is home to 31 free-roaming lemurs and was officially opened in 2008.

Lemurs are native to Madagascar and the ring-tailed species is found in the southern and south-western parts of the island.

Females are only sexually receptive for just one or two days a year, leaving a small window of opportunity for males to father offspring.

Curator of Cotswold Wildlife Park Jamie Craig said lemur species in Madagascar were "under tremendous pressure from habitat destruction", so it was "vital that we raise awareness for this unique group of primates before it is too late".

The park is also the only zoological collection in the world to have bred the critically endangered greater bamboo lemur in the last 12 months.

The two playful siblings, one female and one male, were born to father Bernard and mother Hira.

Natalie Horner, from the park, said they were Hira's 18th and 19th youngsters "within her impressive reproductive history".

As part of Lemur Week, visitors will have the chance to name the ring-tailed twins and learn more about the primates.

All funds raised during the event will go towards conservation.

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