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Championing Lemur Conservation Through Generations

1 April 2024

Meet Rua – the very first red ruffed lemur to be born right here at Blair Drummond Safari Park in 2016. After captivating our visitors with her playful antics and vibrant personality, Rua embarked on a new chapter of her life when she relocated to France in 2019 as part of the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme.

At Zoo de Champrépus, Rua found companionship with her mate Ruo, laying the foundation for a future generation of red ruffed lemurs. Last year, Rua became a mother for the first time, welcoming two precious babies into the world. This not only brought immense happiness to our team but also turned our beloved lemurs Manja and Red into proud grandparents.  The birth of these infants holds significant importance as red ruffed lemurs are critically endangered out in the wild.

Throughout Rua’s formative years here, she shared a special bond with our Animal Collection Manager, Kristine. Kristine’s connection with Rua was so profound that she even bears a tattoo of Rua on her arm.

Over the years, Kristine has closely followed Rua’s journey by staying in touch with her current keepers.  In a touching tribute to their enduring bond, Kristine was recently given the honour of naming Rua’s offspring by the lemur team at Champrépus. Drawing inspiration from her Irish roots, Kristine chose the names Cillian and Caelan for the newborns.

Kristine explained more, ‘Rua was one in a million.   To this day, she’s my favourite animal that I’ve ever worked with.  Cheeky, sweet and full of character.  I’m so proud to hear that she has turned out to be a wonderful mother and so honoured to be picked to name her babies.  It’s definitely the highlight of my year!’

And these little ones are not just adorable additions to the lemur family; they also represent a beacon of hope for their species. Destined to join a reintroduction program in Madagascar, Rua’s offspring symbolise the culmination of collaborative conservation efforts aimed at restoring lemur populations in their native habitat.

As we look to the future, we’re filled with excitement and optimism for Rua’s growing family. With each passing day, Cillian and Caelan will continue to thrive under the watchful care of Rua and their dedicated keepers, preparing for their eventual journey back to the wild.

Rua’s story serves as a reminder of the incredible impact that conservation efforts can have on endangered species. Through dedication and collaboration, we can pave the way for a brighter future for all creatures great and small. And as we continue to champion the cause of wildlife conservation, we take pride in knowing that we played a meaningful role in Cillian and Caelan’s remarkable journey back to the wild.

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