9
Nov
2014

Living it up with the lemurs on Necker Island

An unexpected bonus of our time on Necker Island was the opportunity to get up close and personal with the lemur colonies that live there as part of Richard Brandon’s endangered species conservation work.

After sitting through the Madagascar movies with the kids more times than I can count, the lemurs and the penguins were hands down my favourite characters. I’m happy to report the real lemurs more than live up to the personalities illustrated by their cartoon alter egos (I have a suspicion the penguins may not deliver on the same brand promise, but given Necker wasn’t really a penguin-friendly climate, that will have to be tested at another time).

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I’d been completely fascinated by the lemurs ever since we arrived, and snapped pictures of them with Glass at every opportunity. They seemed equally fascinated with Glass and raced to the nets of their enclosure every time I visited. The more likely reason may just have been they thought I had food, but I like to think we bonded….

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The majority of the lemurs were in enclosures to prevent any cross species breeding, but 3three red lemurs roam free and present in the most unlikely spots. Running across the net during a tennis match is apparently one of their favourite things, so that could provide an interesting distraction in this week’s Necker Cup!
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On our last day I had the opportunity to go into one of the enclosures to feed the lemurs which was just fantastic. I was hoping one would come and sit on my shoulder, just like they were doing with the keeper but it just wasn’t happening despite my best efforts at trying to lure them with carrot sticks. The keeper saw me and said with a big chuckle in his beautiful Carribean accent ‘you don’t got no chance with carrots, lemurs only put out for banana!’

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Sure enough as soon as I picked up a piece of banana I had lemurs leaping out of trees and stuffing their mouths with banana faster than I could feed it to them.
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The ultimate lemur selfie moment was delivered and I left Necker Island grinning from ear to ear and incredibly glad that Richard Branson’s passion for conservation work with endangered species will mean generations to come will be able to enjoy these animals and their wonderfully cheeky personalities.

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