In this month’s animal profile we speak to keeper Bianca about Dikembe the one year-old Ring-tailed Lemur.
Dikembe was born at Melbourne Zoo and is very used to having keepers around him, greeting him every morning as they enter the exhibit.
Dikembe forms part of the bachelor group of Ring-tailed Lemurs at Melbourne Zoo’s new walkthrough exhibit, Lemur Island, and is proving to be a very confident and intelligent young lemur. Being the youngest lemur in the exhibit, Dikembe is very energetic and likes nothing more than to create a bit of mischief amongst the other members of the group.
Dikembe is very intelligent and uses his smarts to learn new behaviours quickly so he can receive his favourite treats including dried dates, sultanas, prunes and paw paw. His day to day diet is made up of a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, browse and insects.
Ring-tailed Lemurs are native to Madagascar and are listed as Near Threatened on the International Union for Conservation and Nature Red List. While this is on the lower scale of endangered categories, lemurs are facing increasing threats through habitat destruction caused by growing human populations and the demand for timber and agricultural land.
You can visit Dikembe and the rest of the bachelor group at Melbourne Zoo’s new Lemur Island exhibit open daily from 9:30am to 4:30pm.