Sun-loving Stumpy the lemur hits a record 31st birthday


A LEMUR is celebrating the human equivalent of his 217th birthday – thanks in part to a love of sunbathing.

Stumpy turned 31 today, making him the oldest ring-tailed lemur in Scotland and, most likely, anywhere in the world.

As well as a love of catching rays, the lemur’s diet of greens, fruit and bugs are also thought to be behind his elongated life span.

Stumpy (right) enjoys his cake with his family.

Stumpy, despite his advanced years, shows no signs of slowing down, still leading the pack and only prevented from fathering more baby lemurs because Five Sisters Zoo, West Calder, West Lothian, currently has no females.

His only sign of ageing, like many humans, is a slight touch of arthritis.

It’s rare for a lemur to live for longer than 20 years old in the wild, making Stumpy’s birthday a real achievement.

Stumpy (right) enjoys his cake with his family

Staff at the Five Sisters Zoo aren’t sure how old Stumpy will live to, but they hope he will stick around for a while yet.

Lesley Coupar, Head of Marketing and Visitors Services at Five Sisters Zoo, said: “For certain we believe him to be the oldest living lemur in the country, certainly in Scotland at least. No one has said different.

“He is absolutely fine, and he is very well looked after. He’s a bit slower sometimes, but he just sits back and lets his sons run about.”

Stumpy munches on his cake

Stumpy, recognisable by and named after his shorter than average tail, was given to Five Sisters Zoo from Edinburgh Zoo as a surplus in 2005, alongside his five sons.

Unfortunately for the ring-tailed lothario there are no females housed with him and his sons in their enclosure. But, they are sociable and comfortable around humans.

In fact, visitors can pay a bit extra to feed the exotic creatures and learn a bit more about them and their native Madagascar.