This is not a drill: lemurs have arrived in Calgary.
Okay, so maybe we’re a little excited (and we admit we haven’t been this pumped about lemurs since The Penguins of Madagascar splashed onto the big screen). But there’s a good reason. There aren’t many lemur exhibits in Canada – and at the newly opened Land of Lemurs at the Calgary Zoo, you can get up close and personal with one of the worlds most endangered primates and learn how you can protect them.
Lemur Landing is the first new building opened at the Calgary Zoo since 2012 (when Penguin Plunge debuted). Lemur Lodge will be their winter home, but it’s the 1.3 acre outdoor enclosure that’s generating the biggest buzz. That’s because you can go directly into their enclosure. That’s right, families can meet King Julien’s compatriots, and watch these naturally curious creatures jump, dangle and dash in front of you.
Before you get to the enclosure, there are two awesome ropes bridges to venture over, designed specifically to encourage play and lemur-like behaviour. Don’t worry if you have a stroller, there are paved walkways atop the enclosure’s tranquil lagoon – a natural lemur buffer.
Primates can be cheeky, so no open food or drink or strollers are allowed in the enclosure. While you wait your turn, there’s a giant Lemur storybook to flip through by benches. And once you’re in the habitat with the species, you’re allowed to take pic after pic, as the lemurs whizz past you, regal tails held high.
Calling Calgary their new home are red-fronted lemurs, black and white ruffed and seven female ringtails – the same species as in The Penguins of Madagascar. These ladies are more dominant than the males, so technically speaking, King Julien should’ve been Queen Juliette.
Land of Lemurs is located in the Destination Africa zone, behind the African Savannah building. It can be accessed by passing through the tunnel on the way to visiting the African lions.
Deforestation is the biggest challenge lemurs face, so the Calgary Zoo is working on conservation project in Madagascar and with the Rainforest Alliance, to teach visitors how to buy consumer products that are forest-friendly.
We’re sure King Julien would approve.