This summer, a new exhibit opened at the Calgary Zoo - it's a new home for black-and-white ruffed lemurs, red fronted lemurs, and ring-tailed lemurs, one of the most endangered species in the world.
In nature, lemurs can only be found in tree canopies on the island of Madagascar, and their numbers are rapidly dwindling, putting other living things within their ecosystem in jeopardy. This new habitat - the first new enclosure at the zoo since 2012 - is a walk-through environment, with swinging bridges and waterscapes, where visitors can get up close and get to know 25 resident lemurs, which are actually primates, in their own space.
The zoo reports that in recent years, the number of critically endangered lemur species has more than doubled, and endangered lemur species rose from 16 to 49 - of the 103 lemur species known to exist, about 94% are at risk of extinction. The Calgary Zoo, known for its wildlife conservation efforts, is working with the University of Calgary and the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership to develop conservation programs in Madagascar to help both lemurs and local communities thrive.
This latest exhibit is already popular with zoo visitors - families will love the immersive experience, the first of its kind in Canada. It's a wonderfully green enclosure, with plenty of space - 1.3 acres, in fact - to explore.
If your summer plans include Calgary lemurs, pack some water and snacks and expect to stand in line, but don't worry - it moves fast, and you'll be able to take in the zebra and lion enclosures, and a forecast full of sunny skies, while you wait.