Meet The ‘Dancing Lemurs’: Chester Zoo Welcomes Endangered Coquerel’s Sifakas


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Chester Zoo recently welcomed a pair of rare Coquerel’s sifaka lemurs, known for their unique ‘sideways gallop’ dance, as part of a European endangered species breeding program.

These critically endangered lemurs, Beatrice and Elliot, traveled over 4,000 miles from the Duke Lemur Centre in North Carolina, marking the first of their kind in Europe.

A video from the zoo captures the lemurs’ captivating dance-like moves. Primate Keeper Holly Webb explains that when on the ground, these lemurs move with a fascinating sideways gallop while holding up their arms for balance, creating the appearance of an elegant dance.

Watch the video at the end.
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The eight-week-old Coquerel’s sifaka lemurs have moved to Chester Zoo from the Duke Lemur Centre, some 4,000 miles away in North Carolina. Source: SWNS

To accommodate the lemurs’ special nutritional needs, the zoo’s keepers, veterinarians, and logistics teams work together to create a tailored diet plan.

These vegetarians will feast on various plant species, including unique and delicious trees explicitly grown at the zoo.
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Source: SWNS
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Primate keeper Holly Webb said: ‘When down on the ground, Coquerel’s sifaka lemurs move around with a fascinating sideways gallop while gracefully holding up their arms for balance – it rather looks like they’re doing an elegant dance’. Source: SWNS
Chester Zoo staff are excited to care for this enthralling species and hope visitors will learn about these charismatic animals’ challenges in the wild.


Coquerel’s sifaka lemurs, native to Madagascar, have seen an 80% decline in their population over the past 30 years due to massive deforestation.

Mike Jordan, Animal & Plant Director at Chester Zoo, emphasizes the importance of establishing a safety-net population in Europe’s top zoos to help prevent extinction and preserve options for future conservation.
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The critically endangered animals use a ‘sideways gallop’ while walking across the ground. Source: SWNS<
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Mike Jordan, Animal & Plant Director at Chester Zoo, said: ‘Coquerel’s sifaka lemurs are critically endangered, and what we aim to do now is to establish a safety-net population in Europe’s top zoos and help to prevent their extinction’. Source: SWNS
He notes that deforestation in Madagascar has left lemurs restricted to a few small fragments of forest in the northwest, highlighting the crucial role of progressive conservation zoos in protecting this iconic species from being lost forever.
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The lemurs, Beatrice and Elliot can leap distances between 20 and 30 feet using their powerful legs. Source: SWNS
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The lemur’s natural habitat in Madagascar is being destroyed by deforestation. Source: SWNS
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Mr. Jordan said: ‘Forests are being destroyed en masse – from burning to provide pasture for livestock to logging for charcoal production’. Source: SWNS
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Source: SWNS
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The Sifakas, which come from Madagascar, have declined by 80 percent in just 30 years.
Chester Zoo said its two newest residents would help educate the public about the struggle faced by Sifakas in the wild. Source: SWNS
Watch the video below:



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