Black lemurs welcomed to Bede’s zoo familyFebruary 14, 2020
Bede’s Senior School in Upper Dicker has welcomed two adorable new arrivals to its school zoo.
A mother-and-daughter pair of black lemurs, Mary (15 years old) and Mogoi (six years old), have arrived from Parc Animalier d’Auvergne in Southern France. Black lemurs are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN red data list and their population is declining in the wild, with numbers decreasing due to habitat loss and being hunted for food.
Helen Poyser, Zoo Manager at Bede’s, says, “We are delighted to welcome Mary and Mogoi to the Bede’s Zoo family, and it is wonderful to see them settling in so well already. We are looking to eventually integrate the girls with our ring-tailed lemurs, but this will be a slow process while they get to know each other in adjoined separate enclosures.
“As a species, black lemurs originally hail from Madagascar and have sadly experienced a shocking decline in the wild. Our lemurs at Bede’s act as ambassadors for their species, allowing us to educate people and help raise awareness of conservation efforts. The long-term viability of the species can only be assured in Madagascar if the current situation changes radically.”
Bede’s is one of only a few schools in the UK with a zoo. Primarily used as an educational facility, Bede’s Zoo hosts over 70 species of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish and invertebrates.
The facility is the cornerstone of the Sixth Form BTEC Animal Management course which, since its launch in 2013, has seen over 60 students complete the qualification (the majority at Distinction level) and go on to further studies and careers in veterinary medicine and nursing, zoology, and conservation.
Bede’s also offers a popular Zoological Society activity for all pupils interested in animal management and care.