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Lemurs celebrate their birthdays

Ring-tailed lemur Maso has turned 12 while Lake Alaotran gentle lemur Maso is now two.

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Maso the lemur only has one eye (Bristol Zoo Gardens/PA)

Maso the lemur only has one eye (Bristol Zoo Gardens/PA)

Maso the lemur only has one eye (Bristol Zoo Gardens/PA)

It was a double celebration this week as two lemurs celebrated their birthdays.

Keepers at Wild Place Project have celebrated the 12th birthday of their male ring-tailed lemur, Rakota.

The lucky lemur was treated to a birthday cake made using his favourite fresh food – blueberries, grapes, sweet potato and a special primate browse.

Maso the Lake Alaotran gentle lemur celebrates his birthday (Bristol Zoo Gardens/PA).
Maso celebrates his birthday (Bristol Zoo Gardens/PA)

Meanwhile at Bristol Zoo Gardens, a special little lemur has turned two.

Maso is a critically endangered Lake Alaotran gentle lemur – all the more special because he only has one eye.

The youngster had to undergo life-saving surgery when just two weeks old after injuring his eye.

Vets at Bristol Zoo performed the delicate operation to remove his eye before it became infected.

A Bristol Zoo Gardens spokeswoman said: “Now two years old and in full health, Maso – meaning eye in Malagasy – lives with his younger brother Mafy, while their parents, Alina and Mamboly, live in an exhibit nearby.

“Bristol Zoo Gardens has been breeding Lake Alaotran gentle lemurs for more than 20 years, as part of a co-ordinated European captive breeding programme.

“This breeding programme is vital for the species which is one of the most threatened species of lemur in Madagascar, where there are now thought to be fewer than 2,500 remaining in the wild.”

Bristol Zoo Gardens and the Wild Place Project are closed to the public due to the coronavirus crisis.

PA