A leap year maybe unusual for some but for Bella, who is rumoured to be the oldest living lemur in captivity, it was her 10th as she turned 38 years old on Sunday.
The Isle of Wight Zoo in Sandown held a special celebration event on 1st March, where Bella was presented with treats befitting a lady of such longevity.
With an average life expectancy of 20-25 years, Bella’s achievement is not to be taken for granted. Animal Carer Gary Harbor has been contacting other zoo’s worldwide to see if she may be the oldest brown lemur ever recorded with information coming back so far that the previous record was held by a mere 36 year old!
Bella was born in Cologne Zoo in 1982 and came to the Isle of Wight in the early 90’s as part of a breeding programme being run at the time.
Whilst many lemurs do live longer in captivity it is very unusual for one to reach this age and a testament to a life well lived.
“Bella is an old lady who just wants the quiet life with her old friend Mclovin. She spends a lot of time in bed while its cold but can be seen in her window when the suns out! She loves the sweet things in life, grapes and banana being the best”.
Brown Lemurs are only found in scattered forest fragments on the high plateaus of western Madagascar. They eat mainly fruit, young leaves and flowers, and like many lemurs have a near threatened conservation status.
The Isle of Wight Zoo currently homes 7 species of lemur and is proud to demonstrate its dedication to their preservation and conservation through its support to a charity in Madagascar itself called the Madagascar Flora and Fauna Group.
For more details about the Zoo visit www.isleofwightzoo.com.