Tennis ball treats for lemurs

Tsito the black lemur enjoying a Wimbledon inspired treat at Drusillas Park
Tsito the black lemur enjoying a Wimbledon inspired treat at Drusillas Park

Inspired by Andy Murray’s win at Wimbledon, a feast of tasty treats has been served up to the black lemurs at Drusillas Park in tennis balls.

The unusual delivery proved a real smash with the whole set, who polished the meal off in minutes.

The lemurs took full advantage of their lunch-time munch of juicy grapes, dished up in the customised balls. The group rallied around the prized platters taking the balls near to break point, as they excitedly dug out their dinner.

Expectant mum Clementine was first to make an approach and proved the top seed. In the lemur world, females rule the troop and Clementine led from the off, quickly gaining an advantage over the other family members. Her tiny baby, born in April, was a somewhat redundant doubles partner as he clung to the baseline and watched in awe.

Clementine’s older offspring, Tsito and Malala also demonstrated some ace play. The wildcards were born in April 2011 and July 2012 respectively and are two of the zoo’s most mischievous residents. However, dad Lotfi seemed happier just watching play from the sidelines and stepping in as umpire from time to time.

The treat was part of the zoo’s enrichment programme, which ensures a diverse diet is enjoyed in imaginative and unusual ways. Enrichment is carried out within all the enclosures on a daily basis to encourage the animals to work a little harder for their food as they would in the wild as well as providing mental stimulation.