There’s a new sound at the Zoo.

Photos by Kelli O'Brien

Photos by Kelli O’Brien

Amidst the song of the gibbons, the squawk of the Bali mynah and the chatter of the golden lion tamarins, there is a melody that is sure to intrigue visitors of all ages. A walk through the Zoo’s Main Building reveals the source. A new species of primate has arrived — one that is quick, bright-eyed, curious and beautiful. The long striped tail gives it away: Ring-tailed lemurs. A pair of them now call Rochester home. Bradigan and Selma have arrived to delight visitors and share a message of hope with the community. Hope that conservation of their natural range in Madagascar will be preserved for generations to come. Hope that their message will inspire others to act on their behalf. And hope that this endangered species will elude extinction and thrive once again.

DSC_3403Seneca Park Zoo continues to do its part in conservation. For many years our docents have dedicated their efforts to educate visitors on the plight of dwindling habitats in Madagascar. They have raised funds to assist in educating the Malagasy to value the beauty of the island they share with a diverse and vulnerable population of wild species. With the addition of ring-tailed lemurs, the Zoo now participates in 37 Species Survival Plan (SSP) programs. SSPs are management programs designed to maintain healthy and sustainable populations of endangered species.

“The Zoo has long been a strong supporter of impactful lemur conservation initiatives by well-known lemur expert and National Geographic Explorer, Dr. Patricia Wright,” said Dr. Jeff Wyatt, the Zoo’s Director of Animal Health and Conservation. “Dr. Wright pioneered a holistic conservation approach, first listening to the Malagasy villagers about their survival needs, and then developing with them a more balanced and sustainable co-existence with the forest. It’s a win-win for all.”

Come visit the Zoo and see Bradigan and Selma during holiday break. Enjoy their antics and marvel at their beauty. Then share the message that theirs is a species worth saving.

Read more about the arrival of the ring-tailed lemurs here.

– Michele Schepisi-Ritchie, Office and Marketing Assistant