West Midland Safari Park will be holding a special conservation week, dedicated to one of the most endangered groups of mammals in the world — lemurs.
Protect Lemurs Week will run from 11-19 March and staff at the Park aim to raise awareness not only about the threats to lemurs, but also what threatens the only place in the world they are found, the island of Madagascar.
A variety of activities will take place during the week, both at the Park and online. Guests can take part in a free quiz to be entered into a prize draw, there will be a craft club with lemur-related crafts and games and there will also be the chance to meet ‘Stanley,’ the Park’s lemur mascot.
Additionally, the Park is hosting some very special VIP lemur experiences where guests can book to meet the Park’s troops of ring-tailed, red-bellied and white-fronted brown lemurs. During this experience, they will learn a bit about lemur conservation, receive a goody bag and will even get to feed the lemurs. All the funds raised during the week will go to the Lemur Conservation Association (AEECL).
Shelley Tudor, Deputy Head Keeper, said, “We decided to support the Lemur Conservation Association as our chosen keeper charity as currently approximately 90% of all lemur species are classified as threatened with extinction. This is mainly due to illegal logging, slash and burn agriculture and being hunted for food and for the pet trade.
“As these animals are only found on Madagascar it is vital that we do all we can to support the charity, which are working to help set up ecotourism programmes, assist with ecological research and community-based conservation. In an effort to raise as much money as possible, as well as all of the activities being held during Protect Lemurs Week, some of the staff will be taking part in a sponsored assault course on Monday 20 March at Conkers in Derbyshire, whilst dressed as Lemurs!”
As well as activities onsite, guests will have the chance to take part, all from the comfort of their own home. There will be a ‘spot-the-difference’ Facebook competition and the Park has also teamed up with local artist Zaza Shelley, who has produced some amazing limited edition prints of the Park’s lemurs. Proceeds from sales of the prints will also go towards the AEECL. Prints are available to purchase from Zaza’s website: www.zazashelley.com/shop/conservation/lemurs.
The AEECL is a consortium of European zoological gardens and universities who have joined forces to carry out a conservation and research programme for Madagascar’s highly endangered lemurs. Find out more at www.aeecl.org.
The lemurs can be seen in West Midland Safari Park’s African Village and Protect Lemurs Week is included in the standard admission charge of £23.00 for adults, £18.00 for children aged 3-15 and £21.00 for concessions. Admission includes a voucher for a return visit or safari gift. Adventure Theme Park rides are charged extra. To book the VIP Lemur Experience, email details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further information and tickets are available from the Park’s website www.wmsp.co.uk or by telephone 01299 402114. You can find out more on the Safari Park’s official Facebook page