As Valetine’s Day approaches, a pair of smitten lemurs are proving that it isn’t just humans who want to spend some alone time with their partner during the season of love.
After spending the chilly winter months keeping each other warm and getting to know each other at West Midlands Safari Park, this loveable pair of black and white ruffed lemurs only have eyes for each other.
Named Romeo and Juliet by park staff who love nothing more than a romance between their animals, the lemurs even have their own love nest – with rangers hand delivering the lovey dovey couple’s favourite food, strawberries, to encourage the relationship to blossom.
Due to wide hunting and a disappearing habitat, black and white ruffed lemurs are one of the more endangered species of the primate group – which is why staff at the park are doing all they can to make sure they will be hearing the pitter-patter of tiny feet over the coming months.
Bob Lawrence, Director of Wildlife at the park, said, “Love is most definitely in the air for these two, which is really rather good news as ruffed lemurs are critically endangered in the wild.
“They get on well, and getting on well is half the battle. They don’t squabble over food and living quarters.
“There’s no sign of biting each others tails off or repetitively pacing up and down the fence.
“They seem quite happy and content with each other. Anything that we can do to encourage the patter of tiny paws will be enormously beneficial to this species.”
The cute couple live in a special love shack in the park’s discovery trail, and although there is another female in the enclosure, staff are confident nothing will break up the loved-up lemurs.
“It does come with its complications though, because Romeo also lives with a second female that staff have nicknamed Titania,” added Bob, who has been at the park since 1973.
“So there are three in there altogether but those two get on well. We provide a good environment for them to live in and hope that nature takes its course.”
As well as the endangered couple, West Midlands Safari Park also have ring-tailed, white-fronted brown and red-bellied lemurs all living together in the UK’s largest lemur walk-through wood.
“We only had lemurs less than a year ago and the ring-tailed ones bred well last year,” said Bob.
“So we are hoping that Romeo and Juliet follow suit, and we have more babies to celebrate later this year.”