A lemur that is on the endangered species list is set to make a long distance trip from Japan to Jersey in the hope of finding love. Tokyo Zoo is sending the female aye-aye to the British channel island to find a mate so that they can ensure that the species does not become extinct after they failed to find any potential suitors in Asia.
Describing the trip as “an extended romantic vacation“, Ueno Zoo has chosen the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Jersey as they have a suitable male by the name of Pan who has been at the facility for several months. The aye-aye will arrive on the island over the weekend with a Japanese handler and spend four months in quarantine before the six-year-old is introduced to Pan. “We hope that Ala gives birth to healthy babies and will deliver happy news to us,” said one zoologist.
Keeping the gene pool of the aye-aye diverse is important because there are so few of the animals left. Many cultures fear the lemurs and see them as an omen of death, meaning that many are killed unnecessarily. Ueno Zoo believes that there are now only 51 aye-ayes protected in zoos around the world and a dwindling population in the wild.