Picture gallery:Mad for madagascar and lemurs

Josia Razafindramanana meets the Red Ruffed Lemurs

Josia Razafindramanana meets the Red Ruffed Lemurs - Credit: Archant

GUESTS from Madagascar attended a special event Linton Zoo in support of its lemur breeding programme.

Josia Razafindramanana, co-ordinator of a conservation project for a Madagascar primate research group, and Eric Robsomanitrandrasana from the Ministry of Environment and Forests, attended the ‘Mad for Madagascar’ evening at the zoo to see its award-winning Rare Lemur Breeding Centre.

Linton manages European breeding programmes for two critically-endangered species of lemur – the white collared and mongoose lemurs. With only 14 white-collared lemurs in Europe, Linton is the only place they can be seen in the UK.

Zoo manager Kim Simmons said: “Much of our work at the zoo is to support field conservation projects to help keep wildlife where it so rightfully belongs – in the wild! Activities such as our daily VIP behind-the-scenes Lemur tours raise the cash we need to fund many of the conservation projects we are involved with.

“Our ‘Mad for Madagascar’ evening was a great success and we would like to thank everyone for the support given. Our guests enjoyed an evening full on with our lemurs and had the opportunity to hear more about conservation work being done in Madagascar which is helped by funding from money raised here. It was also an opportunity to show our visitors how important their country and the wildlife in it are to everyone and how we believe it is worth saving.”

The evening was attended by about 30 zoo supporters and lemur fanatics, including local MEP Vicky Ford.

Cash raised from the zoo’s lemur tours is funding the production of an educational comic book for Malagasy school children featuring native wildlife in trouble. It is written in English, French and Malagasy to ensure all children benefit.

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It is also supplying field research equipment including camera traps and weather stations for teams working out in Madagascar. The information collected will be fed back to the European zoos breeding lemurs to help them manage their environments and captive programmes more effectively.

• Linton Zoo needs to continue raising funds – for more information on how to book a VIP behind-the-scenes lemur tour, visit lintonzoo.com or follow the zoo on Facebook.