KEEPERS at West Midland Safari Park treated their eldest ring-tailed lemur to a party to celebrate his 16th birthday.

Birthday boy Irish was treated to a party with all of his ring-tailed family, with a birthday cake made of crushed leaf-eater pellets, garnished with apple sticks and decorated with chopped carrots in the shape of a 16.

To complete the celebrations, the lemurs were gifted with colourful presents filled with tasty treats.

Jen Albutt, Lemur Keeper, said: “As keepers, it is great to see Irish reach a milestone age of 16. He has an important role in the group being 'the Dad' and helps keep everyone in line - well, he tries to!

“He loves nothing better than having a sunbathe, curling up with his family and munching on his favourite treat, grapes!”

She added: “Breeding programmes are essential in helping to conserve species such as lemurs, as 95 per cent of all lemur species are currently endangered in the wild.

“Irish has therefore played an important role as our breeding male. We all look forward to seeing him enjoy his twilight years here at West Midland Safari Park.”

Lemurs are amongst the most endangered mammals in the world and face continued threats to their habitat in their native home of Madagascar.

Home to three different species of lemur - red-bellied, white-fronted brown and ring-tailed lemurs - the Park celebrated these fantastic animals in 2017 by dedicating a week to raising funds for the Lemur Conservation Association, an organisation who work to protect lemurs and their habitats.

Irish first came to the Safari Park seven years ago and was born at Belfast Zoo. Since being at the Park, he has fathered a total of twenty baby lemurs.

Although he is the oldest ring-tailed lemur at the Park, lemurs can live between 20-30 years in captivity.

Irish and his friends can be seen in Lemur Woods, which is included in the standard admission charge of £24 for adults, £19 for children aged 3-15 and £22 for concessions.

For more information, visit or by telephone 01299 402114.