Ring-tailed Lemurs ~
Ring-tailed lemurs are charismatic primates that inhabit a variety of habitats throughout southern Madagascar. Although ring-tailed lemurs will climb, this species spends more time on the ground than any other lemur species. The ring-tailed lemur is easily recognized by its long black and white ringed tail that is used for balance, signaling to other group members, and for territorial communication during stink fights when the lemurs will wipe scents from glands on their wrists, on their tails, and then flick the scent at each other.
Ring-tailed lemurs live in groups of up to 30 individuals, with a dominant female member leading the group. Ring-tailed lemurs primarily eat fruit and leaves, their favorite being fruit from the tamarind tree. They will also occasionally eat invertebrates and on rare occasions, small vertebrate species.
All lemur species are endangered due to loss of habitat from deforestation. There are approximately only 2,000 ring-tailed lemurs remaining in the wild. Over 90% of Madagascar’s forests have been depleted due to conversion of the land for agricultural purposes. The Good Zoo participates in the ring-tailed lemur Species Survival Plan breeding program with other Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredited institutions to ensure a sustainable population of this rare species in human care.
At the zoo we care for a group of three ring-tailed lemurs. We care for a geriatric male named Kenny; and a middle-aged male and female named Patrick and Zena. We feed the lemurs a special high-fiber leaf-eater biscuit along with apples, yams, grapes, zucchini, and spinach and other greens. The lemurs’ favorite enrichment items include puzzle feeders, toys, new vines, and a variety of play pieces. You can meet the lemurs and learn more about them by scheduling an animal encounter at the zoo.