Exotic lemurs settling well after completing biosecurity clearance

Two female Ring-tailed lemurs from New Zealand have spent the Christmas holidays settling into their new home in New South Wales’ Hunter Valley Zoo, after completing their biosecurity clearance.

Head of biosecurity operations at the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Nico Padovan, said the pint-sized additions will be matched to eligible suitors, to ensure the captive population size remains healthy.

“These two lemurs will add gene variety to the zoo’s current population of Ring-tailed lemurs, which is important for species conservation, as shown in wild lemur colonies,” Mr Padovan said.

“Biosecurity officers work closely with zoo officials even before animals selected for import begin their journey to Australia, to ensure they aren’t carrying any harmful pests or diseases that could impact wild or domestic animal populations in Australia.

“The new additions spent several weeks in quarantine on arrival in Australia, in line with our strict biosecurity import conditions, which are designed to protect not only Australian animals, but also farmed and native plant species.

“It’s pleasing to see they have cleared this important step, to join their new zoo family and entertain visitors with their antics.

“Our strong biosecurity system enables Australian zoos to safety import animals, and conserve exotic species for future.

“Our biosecurity arrangements minimise the risk of exotic diseases threatening our health, animal health and agricultural industries. Without these we wouldn’t be able to visit a zoo to see these fascinating animals up close.”

Last year the department also managed biosecurity arrangements for the import of a Fiordland crested penguin from New Zealand to Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, and four cheetahs from the United Kingdom to Queensland’s Darling Downs Zoo.

For more information on biosecurity in Australia, visit the department’s website at agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity/Australia.

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