There's no mistaking our Ring-tailed Lemurs - the clue is in the name!

Just look at their long bushy tails if you want to identify them, you'll see each lemur's tail is patterned with alternate black and white rings all the way along.

The rest of their bodies are greyish brown with luminous orange and yellow eyes, and white markings on their faces and at the fringed tips of their ears.

We have a group of around 12 Ring-tailed Lemurs here at Chester and are very proud of our 1300 square meter Lemur Island where we have successfully bred numerous sets of lemur babies.

Lemurs are from the island of Madagascar where Chester Zoo is an active and ongoing supporter of conservation projects to safeguard the future of rare species.

Through our support for the EAZA Madagascar Campaign we are helping to prevent Critically Endangered local wildlife from becoming extinct.

Although the Ring-tailed Lemur is not listed as Endangered, numerous studies have found its numbers are going down. So it is important to keep a close watch on the population of these curious and playful primates.

You'll see from our group that Ring-tailed Lemurs are extremely agile, social animals which spend a lot of their time grooming each other.

They communicate through loud calls, which you might hear from quite far off.

Ring Tailed Lemurs have 28 distinct types of calls, 22 of which are used by adults and 6 are particular to infants. In the wild they also use these calls to warn others in the group of potential danger.

Get even closer to the lemurs with our Lemur Island Encounter.

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Interesting facts

Where they live: Madagascar

Habitat: Dry brush and scrubs, forests, rocky canyons

Size: 95cm-1.1m, length including tail

Weight: males up to 3.5kg; females up to 3kg

Threats: Habitat loss due to agricultural and urban development; diminished supply of natural prey which they need for food.

Species Information

Scientific name Lemur catta
Order Primates
Family Lemuridae
Genus Lemur
IUCN status Endangered
Roles in the zoo


Interdependence: This species helps demonstrate that all living things, including humans, live in ecosystems and depend on other living things for their survival.

Human Impact: This species helps demonstrate that human activities are causing serious environmental damage.

Chester Zoo: This species helps demonstrate that as a charity Chester Zoo’s mission is to be a major force in conserving biodiversity worldwide.