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Oldest lemur in Europe dies at 26 years old

A beloved red-fronted lemur at Paignton Zoo in Devon, who is thought to be the oldest lemur in Europe, has died at the age of 26.

Keeper Georgina Barnes, who worked closely with Mandy, said: “Mandy was one of those animals that everyone fell in love with, she was a very determined character and just lovely to be around. I will miss her greatly and I am thankful that I got the chance to work with her.”

Georgina continued: “You shouldn’t have favourites but Mandy was a favourite of the whole team. It was a sad day for us all. It is definitely the hardest part of the job and I am proud of the team for their dedication to the care of Mandy throughout her life and the bravery shown at the end.”

Mandy moved to Paignton Zoo in 2003 from Blackpool Zoo. Her diet consisted of browse, insects, fruit and vegetables, with her particular favourites being sweetcorn, sweet potato and pepper.

Mandy leaves behind her male companion of 18 years, Mango. Mango is also a great age of 23 years old.

Red-fronted lemurs are classed as vulnerable, with their dwindling numbers affected by threats to their natural home of Madagascar. The loss of their habitat is mainly due to deforestation for logging and agriculture.

Today there are conservation initiatives being carried out in Madagascar to protect this species and their habitat. Paignton Zoo is one of just six UK zoos that currently house red-fronted lemurs, and they act as great ambassadors as to why we must all help to protect them.

While Mandy will be greatly missed at the zoo, her memory will continue to be cherished by staff and visitors alike.

Click here to visit and see more of Paignton Zoo’s lemurs as well as over 2,000 other animals.