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Lemur Twins Celebrate 20th Birthday!


Zookeepers at Drusillas Park have been busily preparing treats, putting on party hats and pumping up balloons as they celebrate the 20th birthday of their twin ring-tailed lemurs, Scar and William.

The old chaps turned 20 over the May bank-holiday weekend and Drusillas Zookeepers were on hand to make sure they celebrated with style.

Zoo Keeper, Julie Wilkinson, said: “Our cheeky twins are 20 years old! They are so lively and spritely that it’s hard to believe they are actually old boys now! Scar and William are very dear to us and we were really happy to be able to treat them to a special day.”

Keepers Julie Wilkinson and Jacinta Dawe went the extra mile for William and Scar,  making the lucky lemurs a very special birthday cake. The veggie concoction was made from a mix of leafy pellets and veggies and with a special hand-carved 20 decoration – made from lemur favourite, sweet potato. It might not sound like a human’s ideal birthday cake, but for the lemur’s this was the perfect snack.  

Zoo keeper, Jacinta Dawe, said; “The lemurs loved their cake! It was great fun to make it for them and it was all we could do to hold onto it long enough to take a photo! Scar and William were wasting no time getting stuck into their birthday treat.”

“As we are a fruit-free zoo, veggies are the perfect treat for our animals. All fruit items have been removed from our plant-eater’s diets completely and replaced by vegetable alternatives.”

“The reason for this is that the fruit cultivated for our own consumption is much sweeter, higher in calories and lower in fibre than that which the animals would naturally eat in the wild. This is not only bad for their waistlines; it is also bad for their teeth. We might love a sweet, sugary birthday treat, but this would just be no good for the health of our animals.”

Delivering the animals’ meals in imaginative and unusual ways is part of the zoo’s daily enrichment programme. This ensures they receive a varied and diverse diet, as well as encouraging them to think and work for their food as they would in the wild.

Zoo Keeper, Jacinta Dawe, remarked: “We work hard in the zoo to deliver food and other items of interest to the animals in ways that will keep them mentally stimulated. Lemurs are naturally very energetic and curious animals so they were straight over to investigate the birthday cake. I got mobbed a bit actually! They all jumped up as soon as they saw food coming!” 

After a busy afternoon of celebrations, Scar and William headed back to bed for a much deserved nap.


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