10km away from Tamatave, the zoological parc Ivoloina helps reintroducing 28 species of lemurs. Most of them used to be pet animals in homes. Thanks to the semi-captivity, the reintroduction is a conservational strategy for these endangered species.

Parc Ivoloina is on a 4-acres area in the middle of a forest zone of 282 acres. It is the home of 12 lemur species and among them the Black and withe ruffed lemur. This lemur, weighting 4kg when adult, is easily recognizable thanks to its white necklace. It is in a critical danger of extinction. Professor Jonah Ratsimbazafy has chosen this lemur as for his thesis topic: “The lemur we are watching is the black and white vari (Malagasy name). Its scientific name is Varecia Variegata. For example, hotels in Madagascar use to keep them in captivity for their customers. But of course it is not a good idea, they need to live in their natural habitat. Once in captivity, they lose their marks and cannot chose what to eat or whom to live with. It increases the threat on their survival.”

We count around 28 000 Varecia in captivity today. Suffering from poaching, the primate is greatly prized to be domesticated at home. Here in the parc Ivoloina, we try to rebuild the decimated population. We offer them as much as possible similar living conditions to their natural habitat, allowing them to breed.

“They breed and they play inside the park, says Professor Jonah Rastimbazafy. These are good signs! Stressed animals are generally hungry, often hill and don’t play anymore. When we see animals going round in circles, it tells us that they are under stress.”

Inside the park, you can see the black and white ruffed lemur living in half captivity, and also the 11 other species living there: Bamboo lemur, blue-eyes black lemur, and the famous nocturnal lemur “Aye Aye”.

The finality of this initiative is that these lemurs can spontaneously go back and reconquer the forest, from were they have been hunted before.

You can visit the park on your way to Sainte Marie Island.

Source : Rfi du 17/12/17