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Endangered lemurs boosted by support from Weston-super-Mare business

PUBLISHED: 13:21 16 June 2017

Alex Demetriou. Picture: Courtesy of Zoological Society of East Anglia

Alex Demetriou. Picture: Courtesy of Zoological Society of East Anglia

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Two East Anglian attractions at the heart of conservation programmes designed to save endangered lemurs have been supported by a local business.

The Lemur Encounters enclosure at Africa Alive in Kessingland, near Lowesoft, and the Lemur Walkthrough at nearby Banham Zoo, are now being sponsored by the Regency Purchasing Group. Both are long-standing customers of the Regency Group.

The lemur enclosure at Africa Alive! was built in 2007, and his home to nine ring-tailed lemurs, as well as 22 black headed sheep and four large leopard tortoises. The Banham Zoo enclosure is home to eight male ring-tailed lemurs and four male and one female red ruffed lemurs.

The animals at both attractions are held as part of an international breeding programme.

Ring-tailed lemurs are classified as endangered in the wild on the International Union for the Conversation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, having recently experienced a significant decline in numbers.

They are found in the dry forests and bush in the southern regions of Madagascar, where they are threatened by deforestation, being hunted for food, and being used in the illegal pet trade.

Red ruffed lemurs are listed by the IUCN Red List as critically endangered in the world.

The sponsorship of the two enclosures by the Regency Group will help meet the operating costs of the walk-through exhibits. Gary Batters, Director of Conservation and Education at the Zoological Society of East Anglia (ZSEA), which operates both attractions, said they were grateful for the support. “Every penny donated helps us fulfil our conservation objectives.”

Alex Demetriou, Managing Director of the Regency Purchasing Group, said they had supplied Banham Zoo and Africa Alive! with food and drink for six years. “We pride ourselves on building strong, positive, relationships with our customers. Good business, and successful relationship building, is a two-way process, and here we saw an opportunity to give something back.”

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