Ever since watching a show on TV about the "dancing" lemurs in Madagascar - the Pet Fairy has been obsessed by all things Lemur. So when a member of the Fairy Circle told her that Cango Wildlife Park was offering Lemur interactions - the Fairy braved the 42 degree heat to find out if it was true. It has been many years since the Fairy last visited this little gem on the way to the Cango Caves and it has changed a lot since then.
The entire experience was wonderful...and the Fairy knew she was going to have a good day when a cage full of squirrels met her at the entrance. The Fairy loves squirrels ... almost as much as she loves Lemurs.
After a refreshment break (the Fairy doesn't function well in hot weather) we embarked on a tour which included a rather impressive tank of Malawi Cichlids and two gorgeous otters along with the larger exhibits like Crocodiles, Vultures and Hippos.... Our guide was well-read and really funny. He took every opportunity to teach us about the ongoing plight of many of the residents in the wild but also stressed the good work that was being done to try and save various species as well as outlined how each of us could do our bit to help.
Then came the opportunity of a lifetime..... meet a pair of Servals, two white Tiger cubs and lots of Lemurs.
The Tigers were gorgeous and had the most enormous paws and really soft fur. Much softer than a cheetah or a mountain lion or a lion cub.
The Servals were much bigger than the Fairy was expecting and also much softer. They also ran much hotter than the Tigers which was interesting.
After this came the Lemurs. After entering the enclosure, which was notably absent of anything remotely resembling a Lemur the Fairy was asked to sit on a rock. The keepers then clicked a training clicker multiple times and the Ring Tailed Lemurs appeared out of every nook and cranny you can imagine and headed for me. First to arrive was a baby a few months old who hopped onto my lap and sat down like he belonged there. Several adults and another baby soon followed.... they perched on my head, my shoulder, my lap, my hands.... anywhere there was a gap really. Perfectly at ease and surprisingly light - they reminded me irresistably of birds in terms of how easily and lightly they hopped on and off. Their feet and hands are cool and rubbery and their fur is really soft. I was really surprised that none of them had a noticeable odour either. Then I switched rocks and all the ring tailed Lemurs disappeared again. The new rock had a cluster of slightly more reserved Brown Lemurs in the Banana trees around it and as soon as I sat down, one hopped onto my lap. They were a lot more sedate than their Ring Tailed relatives but no less gorgeous up close. The experience was probably one of the best in my life - right up there with walking with Elephants in the Knysna forest and holding a Koala. All I can say is - if you are in the Oudtshoorn area - visit Cango Wildlife Ranch - you won't be sorry you did! To the folks at Cango - THANK YOU for making a Pet Fairy's dream come true!