Paignton Zoo is home to a pair of Critically Endangered red-ruffed lemurs. Tack and Iggy are very important to the European Endangered species Programme (EEP); they’re one of only 12 pairings of red-ruffed lemurs across European zoos chosen for their high genetic value when the EEP re-started breeding recommendations after a long period of no breeding.

So far, despite successful mating, they have failed to rear the young past a couple of days. We want to create an environment in which female Tack feels as safe, calm and secure as possible, helping to reduce agitation and encourage her to care for the young. Our dedicated keepers are working hard to help Tack and Iggy. They’ve screened off one side of the indoor house to give them a little more privacy and made some new nest boxes which we hope will be well suited to their needs. 

Mating happened just before Christmas and, if all goes smoothly, we might expect young to be born in April. Tack has indeed started exploring sites and nest boxes. Since the screen was introduced, her behaviour has been less frantic, which is a very promising sign. Nearer the time, we will stop all guest access to the indoor house to give her as much privacy as possible. 

Thank you in advance for your understanding – this is an incredibly important time for a very special species. If you don’t get to see them on your next visit, that could be a good sign – they might be with their babies! Let’s keep our fingers crossed and do what we can to help them.


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