The Calgary Zoo is celebrating the opening of its newest exhibit, Land of Lemurs, which they say is the first of its kind in Canada.
The Land of Lemurs habitat is located in Destination Africa, and is Canada’s first “immersive lemur experience,” according to the zoo. It’s 1.3 acres and features an open concept design which allows guests to become a part of the lemurs’ world in a barrier-free setting.
“We are so excited to open this unique experience for our visitors,” Calgary Zoo president and CEO Dr. Clément Lanthier said in a news release.
The Land of Lemurs is home to black-and-white ruffed lemurs, red-fronted lemurs and ring-tailed lemurs – 25 in total.
It officially opened to the public at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, and will be open daily from 9 a.m. until 5:15 p.m.
Before visiting the new Land of Lemurs habitat, the Calgary Zoo suggests considering these tips:
- All food and beverages must be put away in your backpack prior to entering the habitat.
- Zoo staff will ask guests who have strollers to park them down at the lower landing inside the habitat before entering the Adventure Loop.
- While experiencing lemurs in the Adventure Loop, you may only bring in your phone/camera.
- The closest washroom to Land of Lemurs is located in TransAlta Rainforest building. Make a stop there before you immerse yourself in the land of lemurs.
The new exhibit is tied to a conservation initiative with the University of Calgary and Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership aimed at helping lemurs thrive in the wild.
“It is clear that a solution requires efforts that simultaneously help wildlife and the people of Madagascar and our work on the island nation will help to link conserving lemurs with helping local communities thrive,” Lanthier said.
The community conservation project has three focuses:
- Funding community owned tree nurseries to support reforestation efforts.
- Support local field technicians for long-term lemur ecological and population monitoring.
- Fund green technology items such as solar lighting, water filtration and highly efficient appliances to link conservation to human well-being.
According to the Calgary Zoo, the number of critically endangered lemur species has more than doubled in recent years (from 11 to 24) and endangered lemur species rose from 16 to 49.
“Sadly, of the 103 lemur species known to exist, about 94 per cent are at risk of extinction. Their status likely makes them the most endangered group of mammals on earth. Experts believe that if things don’t change, many lemurs could be extinct in the wild by 2050,” the zoo said in a news release.
With files from Dallas Flexhaug