Four endangered lemurs have arrived at Chester Zoo as part of an international breeding programme.
The crowned lemurs, among the world’s rarest primates, moved to the UK from Montpellier Zoo in France after being matched up by conservationists working to protect the species.
The two males, Hajao and Rak, and two females, Ilo and Pia, will share their habitat in Chester with two other species of lemur, red ruffed and ring-tailed.
Primate experts from the zoo hope to successfully breed the species, which is native to Madagascar.
Mike Jordan, the zoo’s collections director, said: “After overcoming their initial nervousness, crowned lemurs Hajao, Rak, Ilo and Pia have settled well into their new home and are getting along famously with their bolshie neighbours – a group of ring-tailed lemurs and five red ruffed lemurs.
“As with the vast majority of lemur species, crowned lemur numbers in Madagascar are in decline.
“Through carefully coordinated international breeding programmes, zoos are playing a vital role in creating a safely-net population as the species tinkers on the edge of extinction.”
Conservationists from Chester Zoo are working with field partners Madagasikara Voakajy to protect habitats and species in Madagascar.