As you stroll through the grounds of the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo (BAMZ), you might wonder how the birds, reptiles, mammals and aquatic species you encounter there came to call BAMZ home. You may be surprised to know that adding animals to the zoo collection is a continual effort that can take upwards of two years per animal, family or breeding pair.

“Animal availability is subject to many factors, but once specific animals are identified, the work begins to obtain the necessary permits to move the animals,” said BAMZ Curator Dr. Ian Walker. “This can be a very lengthy process, sometimes up to 18 months, depending on the species. The permit is restricted to the specific animals and partnering institutions and typically has a maximum six-month validity.”

Recently, three red ruffed lemurs were relocated to Bermuda from the Bronx Zoo in New York. The animals get their name from the deep red colour on their soft fur. The siblings — Atticus, a male, and two females named Scout and Finch — were named after the best- selling book To Kill a Mockingbird.

When selecting which animals to pair with the ring-tailed lemurs that already called BAMZ home, the zoo conducted careful research to determine the best fit. The red ruffed lemurs were chosen based on a recommended list from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. After a 30-day quarantine, the new residents joined their ring-tailed friends; and now they all roam free at the zoo’s Madagascar exhibit to the delight of visitors. Here, you can learn more about lemurs and what can be done to protect these amazing animals and their habitat.

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