A lemurs tail
The species name, catta, refers to the Ringtailed lemur’s cat-like appearance. Its purring vocalization is very similar to that of the domestic cat. The ring-tailed lemur is known locally in Malagasy as hira – pronounced ˈhirə’ or colloquially [ˈir]) or maky (pronounced [ˈmakʲi̥], and spelled maki in French). Being the most widely recognized endemic primate on the island, it has been selected as the symbol for Madagascar National Parks (formerly known as ANGAP). The Maki clothing brand, which started by selling T-shirts in Madagascar and now sells clothing across the Indian Ocean islands, is named after the this lemur due to its popularity, despite the fact that the company’s logo portrays the face of a Sifaka and its name uses the French spelling.Monkeyland you will often see Ringtailed lemurs sunning themselves, this helps to regulate their body temperature.
Ringtailed lemurs get their name from their distinctive black and white striped tails which they hold up high whilst walking on the ground. These tails also have a more novel use in what is known as a ‘stink fight’. Male ringtails have scent glands on their chest and wrists. They bring their tails up between their legs, rub it over these glands making sure it is good and smelly, then raise it over their head and flick it at their opponent who will either reciprocate or simply run off. The Ringtail lemur is the national animal of Madagascar; Ringtails achieved worldwide fame after the release of the film ‘Madagascar’. Unfortunately the film depicted their ruler as a male, ‘King Julian’ whereas in real life, as with most other lemurs, females are always the boss!
We have more than 60 Ringtail lemurs at Monkeyland, many of which came to live with us from Skansen Akvariet in Sweden. There are also a few Ringtails who live at the Special Monkey Forest; these are: Perfect, Uno, Surprise, Pacer, Bones, Blondie, Bimbo and Betty.
Did you know? Ringtailed lemur’s tails are made up of 13 black rings and 13 white rings, always ending with a black ring!