Saturday 20 April 2019

Watching an aye-aye enjoying some honey is a rare and sweet treat

The endangered primates from Madagascar aren’t as scary as they can sometimes look.

The Aye-aye from Denver zoo
The Aye-aye from Denver zoo

By Edd Dracott, Press Association

Aye-ayes are an incredibly rare species to spot, but a clever exhibit by a zoo in Colorado means visitors can see them on a visit – and it’s an eerie and remarkable sight.

The species is endangered and nocturnal, but keepers at Denver Zoo have created a unique exhibit so they are awake and visible in the day when guests visit.

The video below shows Trixie, a 10-year-old female and one of two at the zoo, enjoying a cup of honey.

“Have you ever been to Emerald Forest and walked into our 'Creatures of the Night' exhibit? This is where our aye-ayes...

Posted by Denver Zoo on Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Aye-ayes are adapted with large eyes to see in the darkness and big ears for enhanced hearing to help them catch prey.

They tap on trees to listen for bugs hidden within, before digging into the bark with their rodent-like teeth and fishing out their target with their extended middle finger.

Raz the aye aye

The Denver exhibit is adapted with reversed cycle of lighting so that night time begins for Trixie and her seven-year-old male counterpart Smeagol at 10am.

According to the World Wildlife Federation, the aye-aye was once thought to have become extinct before it was rediscovered in 1961.

An aye aye from London zoo

The Madagascan species is endangered today due to habitat loss but also the superstition of native peoples, some of whom believe the creature to be a symbol of death.

Press Association

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