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August 31, 2017 Calgary Zoo

Saving Madagascar’s forests – conservation reaches around the globe

A ring-tailed lemur sits high up in the habitat- it's easier to see everyone going on!

MEET SABOO, THE RING-TAILED LEMUR!

It’s time for the fourth installation in our summer blog series about the newest members of the zoo family. Featuring our ring-tail lemur, Saboo, we’re sharing more each month about her life at the zoo, interesting lemur facts, all about Madagascar and much more!

This chapter is all about how lemurs like Saboo in the wild need our help to survive.

Saboo and her lemur family are here to help us in our efforts to preserve and restore the forests of Madagascar, the only place in the world lemurs can be found in nature.

TThe island of Madagascar is the only place in which lemurs are found naturally. Photo taken in the forests of Madagascar by partners of the Calgary Zoo.

The island of Madagascar is the only place in which lemurs are found naturally. Photo taken in the forests of Madagascar by partners of the Calgary Zoo.

Community Based Conservation

The people of Madagascar value their forests and the plants and animals that inhabit them, just as we value ours in Canada. While slash-and-burn farming, hunting, and other practices have resulted in the loss of most of Madagascar’s tropical rainforests and dry spiny forests, the people who live there often turn to these practices because of poverty. The average Malagasy lives on less than $2 a day.

We’re working with a non-governmental organization in Madagascar to employ local people to help reforest the land, giving them economic stability and ownership over the land they farm.

The island of Madagascar is the only place in which lemurs are found naturally.

The island of Madagascar is the only place in which lemurs are found naturally.

How can everyone help?

Saboo has a pretty easy life, sunbathing, watching zoo visitors, and sleeping in the trees. Her distant relatives in Madagascar aren’t as lucky — since their forests have been steadily disappearing. And as their habitat disappears, conservation efforts become more important than ever.

Look up! Lemurs will travel on the ground, through the trees, and on structures in the air inside of the Adventure Loop.

Look up! Lemurs will travel on the ground, through the trees, and on structures in the air inside of the Adventure Loop.

Madagascar is on the other side of the world from Calgary, but there are things you can do right here to help.

  • Support the Calgary Zoo’s conservation efforts. The funds we raise help fund our collaboration with the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership to protect lemurs and their habitat.
  • Treat yourself for a good cause! Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut by Cococo Chocolatiers is partnering with the Zoo to help protect lemurs. Purchase a custom-made lemur chocolate box and support our efforts. Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut by Cococo Chocolatiers can be purchased at our zoo gift shop or concessions.
  • Visit the Land of Lemurs exhibit, get to know Saboo and the rest of the troop, then tell your friends about the plight of the lemurs.

Rhubarb and Radish talk lemur and human teamwork

The Calgary Zoo and the University of Calgary are working in partnership with the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership to protect lemurs and their habitat in Kianjavato, Madagascar.

The lemurs help preserve the forest, too!  As lemurs move through the forest, eating and pooping, they spread seeds and help plant the forests that provide shelter and food for lemurs and other animals.

Thank you for supporting wild life conservation! When you visit this new habitat a portion of your membership fees go toward caring for Saboo and other animals at the zoo, as well as supporting our local and global conservation efforts.

Plan your visit to the Calgary Zoo.


Want to keep up with Saboo’s story? Check out past installments here on the member blog.

Chapter 1 – THE ORIGINAL LAND OF LEMURS – MADAGASCAR

Chapter 2 – PIGGY-BACKS & PLAYMATES – GET TO KNOW YOUR LEMURS

Chapter 3 – SUNBATHING, STINK FIGHTS, AND THE LEMUR LIFESTYLE

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