Sanctuary Open

The newly opened lemur sanctuary in Keymore has attracted a record number of visitors on its first day of operation, with more than 10,000 guests attending for the grand opening ceremony.

The sanctuary, which was first proposed at the start of the year, is serving as a habitat for a group of endangered lemurs who require a very specific environment in which to live. Most aspects of the sanctuary have been praised by reviewers, with many noting that the layout is not overbearing and citing that there is much potential for growth.

“There are a lot of lemurs, as advertised,” says Cole Baxter, a local review writer. “There are educational tours, a marvellous gift shop, great views of how the creatures live and even a place at the end of the tour where they’ve picked out a few of the bolder lemurs for people to have a closer look at. It’s all very respectful to the animals.”

The key to the animal’s success in captivity has been specialised forest wallpaper that depicts the habitat of the lemurs. As their numbers in the enclosure are so few, the wallpaper has been designed to add a sense of open spaces. It might even trick the animals into thinking area is much greater than it really is. This results in less stress when facing visitors. “I was wondering why all their walls were printed with lemurs,” said Baxter, “I guessed it was just demonstration, but then the tour guide told me that they actually believe they’re other lemurs, so they have the upper hand. Fascinating.”

The same wall graphics are available from the gift shop in the form of custom designer wallpaper, so that visitors can bring the lemur magic home with them. The sanctuary continues to draw in visitors, with an expected tourism boost to the Keymore area estimated at around 70%. The numbers are looking promising.