Lions and tigers and bears oh my!
It's not the Land of OZ however Fota Wildlife Park in Cork has welcomed some new arrivals with the birth of two ring-tailed lemurs for the first time in 12 years.
Park rangers are delighted with the birth of the lemurs after the older male was born first on March 12 and was followed by a female on April 10.
“We’re absolutely delighted with the birth of the two ring-tailed Lemur babies, which is an endangered species, and they are nearly five and four months old now," said Lead Ranger, Teresa Power about the births.
The mothers of both baby lemurs, Quincy and Aqua, arrived from a group brought in from the Wildlands Adventure Zoo, Emmen in the Netherlands in 2019. Sadly the father of both lemurs, Collins, passed away of natural causes before their birth.
The pups are spotted every day clinging to their mothers but will soon be introduced to the wider group of Lemurs in the Palm Walk region of Fota Wildlife Park.
"They really are at a perfect stage for the public to see them as they can be spotted daily clinging to their Mum’s back out on their island habitat or else scampering across the purpose-built mesh tunnel from their house.
"Even though she is smaller and younger than the male, the little female is very feisty and bossy towards her bigger brother.
"The two mothers and babies are living together with access to one of the wildflower islands on the lake, but we have plans to mix them with the rest of the group, all to be free-range in the Palm Walk area," said Ms Power.
The last lemur born in Fota 12 years ago, named Katie, is still part of the lemur group in the park and will see the new members of the troop soon.
Lemurs are one of the most popular attractions at Fota for visitors and are easily recognizable after their starring role in the hit film, Madagascar.
Fota are also offering the public the chance to name the new lemurs as well as win two annual passes in a competition online.
“The Ring-tailed lemur species, made so popular by the movie Madagascar, has become associated with Fota Wildlife Park over the years due in great part to our free-ranging group - who have captivated and thrilled the visitors here for many years," said Ms Power
Native to Madagascar, the lemur species is threatened with extinction due to habitat destruction and illegal hunting.
"We hope that these young lemurs, who are a delight to behold, will remind and educate our visitors as to the plight of the species as it is estimated that there may only be 3,000-3,200 individuals remaining on their native Island of Madagascar.
"The species is now threatened with extinction mostly due to habitat destruction in Madagascar, and from the illegal pet and bushmeat hunting,” said Ms Power.