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Lemur Bridge Enrichment
The Ring-tailed Lemur (Lemur Catta) island was connected to the Black and White Ruffed Lemur (Varecia variegata) island by several bridges for the first time ever at Honolulu Zoo from May through mid-October 2003 to enrich the lemurs' lives.
We separated the islands again on October 18, 2003 after careful monitoring because some of our lemurs never acclimated to peaceful side-by-side living with the other lemur species. See Zookeepers Journal document link below for details.
In May 2003 the islands were connected.
The islands were connected by several bridges using wooden planks, bamboo poles and a fire hose.
The first meeting between a ring-tailed and black and white ruffed lemur.
Ring-tailed Lemurs have excellent jumping skills to avoid confrontations.
The males try the plank bridge between the two islands for the first time.
Now that the two lemur islands are connected, they have more room to run.
The new bamboo poles make it easy for the lemurs to circumnavigate the exhibit.
The two lemur species stake out their territory.
Ring-tailed Lemurs "scent" their tails with glands on their arms; then wave the tails to ward off trespassers.
Black and white ruffed lemur Bridget, crosses the new suspension bridge.
In October 2003 the islands were separated.
Ruffed lemurs enjoy banana stalk enrichment on their own island (separated from ring-tailed's).
Ruffed lemurs are the best in their species at suspensory feeding.
Ring-tailed Lemurs and their keeper interact for the first time with hand feeding on the island.
Ring-tailed lemurs came forward for treats right away!
The Islands were disconnected from each other in October 2003.
The suspension bridge is now a climbing ladder!