This birthday boy may be a long way from his Madagascar roots, but he still managed to celebrate his 18th birthday with his family in Scotland – and a special cake.
The brown lemur named Gav was filmed tucking into the specially made birthday cake at Blair Drummond Safari Park in Stirling in Scotland. The cake was created using porridge oats with sweet potatoes and butternut squash used to make the numbers one and eight.
Jamie-Leigh Green, Education and Communications Officer at Blair Drummond Safari Park, said: “Gav is one of two brown lemurs we have here in the park.”
He said Gav joined the park in 2005 and revealed the secrets of the cake plus the special ingredients of apple around the side as a special treat.
He said: “Gav’s favourite snack is fruit, but we do not give our lemurs fruit very often as the fruit that’s grown for human consumption is far sweeter than what they would forage in the wild.”
Gav is one of two brown lemurs that they have at the park, the other who is also a male is called George aged 21.
They also have ringtail lemurs, crowned lemurs and black-and-white ruffed lemurs, as well as a group of six red ruffed lemurs who live in the safari park’s Pets Farm.
With so many lemurs they need more than one keeper and asked if Gav had a favourite, Jamie said: “Gav loves both of his keepers, but probably shows a preference to whoever is giving him his food that day!”
The brown lemurs are listed as vulnerable and can live in a variety of forest habitats where they mainly inhabit the upper branches. They typically spend no more than around 2% of their time on the ground given the choice.
Fortunately for visitors, they are active during the day, so can usually be seen. They like to live in small groups of between five and 12 individuals with both young and mature adults and both males and females.
The common brown lemur’s diet, as well as food, will also include leaves and flowers but there were also eight crickets, spiders and other insects like millipedes and in their forest canopy are not averse to munching on bark and sand. There is the ability to tolerate greater levels of toxic compounds from plants than other lemurs making them adaptable in their diet.