Romantic Ricky, our male Ring-tailed lemur, has been courting his harem of lady lemurs just in time for Valentine’s day. Despite his age, Ricky has found a new lease of life after the younger males from the group were moved recently to another zoo as part of the international co-ordinated breeding programme, designed to play match-maker for endangered species throughout European zoos.
We were delighted to see Ricky making his amorous advances, as female Ring-tails are only receptive for 24 hours in a whole year!
This is such good news for the group. After the young males went to Marwell, Ricky and the girls were moved to a new enclosure here at the zoo and it seems to have done wonders, for Ricky in particular. He is nearly 19 years old, so we were not expecting any more babies from him. We are keeping everything crossed that this recent breeding behaviour results in youngsters this spring.
The last time baby Ring-tails were born at the zoo was in 2006 and often the females give birth to twins. Females then take care of the young, carrying them around until old enough to fend for themselves, leaving the males to while away the hours sunbathing!