One of Cambridgeshire's oddest traditions gets under way this morning...
Longleat: New Ring Tailed Lemurs Born
A rescued ring tailed lemur has given birth to twins at Longleat Safari & Adventure Park.
The twins, who were born last week, are making the most of the mild spring weather as they enjoy a spot of sunbathing with mum Hasina.
Hasina and dad Julien are part of a troop of the playful Madagascan primates which live in a walkthrough enclosure at the Wiltshire safari park.
Both were rescued as youngsters from unsuitable living conditions and given a new home at the park, although they still bear the scars of their ill treatment – Hasina has some of her fingertips missing and Julien only has half a tail.
The babies, which were born on March 25th, are both doing well but have yet to be named.
The name lemur itself derives from the Latin word 'lemures' which means ghost and probably came from their nocturnal habits, ghost-like appearance and mournful-sounding cries.
Keeper Beverley Evans said: ''Ring-tailed lemurs are at risk in the wild due to a combination of habitat loss, degradation and hunting.
''Hasina is a very laid back mum and this is her third pregnancy. She seems to have taken the whole birth very much in her stride and is an extremely attentive mother,'' she added.
In the mornings the ring-tailed lemurs sunbathe to warm themselves. They face the sun sitting in what is frequently described as a "sun-worshipping" posture or lotus position. Sunning is often a group activity, particularly during the cold mornings. At night, troops will split into sleeping parties huddling closely together to keep warm.
The spacious Lemur Walkthrough enclosure is home to both ring tailed and brown lemurs and features extensive rope-swings and wooden walkways which provide the lemurs with the perfect opportunity to demonstrate their extraordinary agility and climbing skills.
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