Missing lemur observed near Gryting

LemurLemurs are native to Madagascar. They are severely threatened by extinction due to human activities. 5 of them recently escaped from a zoo in Norway. Photo: Pixabay.com

Missing lemur observed near Gryting in East Agder

“The last lemur, out of 5 which escaped from The Small Zoo (Den Lille Dyrehage) in East Agder a month ago, has been observed alive,” the local newspaper iGjerstad writes.

Five lemurs escaped from the zoo in Gryting, May 1st. After several search missions in the ensuing days, four of the five were found. The last lemur, 17-years-old Lychee, is, however, still AWOL.

 iGjerstad reports that the lemur was observed on the main road at Gryting on Friday. the zoo is now asking for assistance from nearby residents.

“If this story is to end well, we are dependent on assistance from the public. If anyone sees it, please get in touch [with us] immediately and stay on the spot until we come. Then we’ll probably be able to capture it,” Manager of the zoo, Terje Jensen, tells the local newspaper.

Den Lille Dyrehage promises a NOK 5,000 bounty to the person who contributes to Litchi’s return.

Lemur face extinction

Ninety-five per cent of the world’s lemurs is on the brink of extinction, according to the World Conservation Union (IUCN).

That means the Lemur is the most endangered primates in the world. They are found only in Madagascar, where destruction of the rainforest, unregulated agriculture, logging and mining has had catastrophic consequences for the population.

“This is undoubtedly the highest threat rate among all large mammalian groups or vertebrate groups,” Russ Mittermeier of IUCN’s Species Survival Commission states.

Of a total of 111 lemur species and subspecies, a total of 105 are threatened, the IUCN reports in its first update on the Lemur population since 2012.

Threatened by hunting

Among the most disturbing trends is an increase in hunting for Lemur, including commercial hunting, according to Animal Protection Director at the Bristol Zoological Society, Christoph Schwitzer.

He describes the hunt as «unlike anything else we have seen in Madagascar in the past».

Among the species that are described as critically endangered are northern Weasel Maki. There are probably only 50 individuals left of this species, according to the IUCN.

“Lemurs are for Madagascar as pandas are for China – they are the goose that lays the golden egg. They attract tourists and nature lovers,” Jonah Ratsimbazafy of the research group GERP explains.

The IUCN states that they are now implementing a «major action plan» to preserve the endangered species.

Madagascar is among the most biologically diverse places in the world.


An Orangutan is born at the Zoo in Kristiansand

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