Saturday, December 10, 2011

Riddle of the lemur found 5,700 miles from home... suffering from hypothermia on Tooting Common


On the mend: King Julien is being taken care of after being found suffering from hypothermia on Tooting Common

It's an awfully long way from his tropical island home to the wilds of south-west London, but somehow that is where this ring-tailed lemur ended up.

A walker found him starving and cold on Tooting Common – 5,700 miles from Madagascar.

He was put on a drip and responded to treatment for hypothermia at the Blue Cross Animal Hospital in the centre of London and is on the mend.

Recovering well: The severely ill ring-tailed primate was put on a drip at a Blue Cross animal hospital in Victoria, London

Since he is very tame, it is thought that he was being kept illegally as a pet and either escaped or was abandoned by his owner.

He has been named King Julien after the character in Madagascar, the animated film.

Mark Bossley, Blue Cross chief vet at the animal hospital, said: ‘We have treated chickens, goats and even possums, but this is our most unusual resident ever.

'We were very concerned about King Julien’s health as he was very cold, scared and didn’t want to eat.

'But our nurses managed to coax him into taking some drops of honey from a syringe, then he gradually started eating bits of banana and grapes.'

The animal charity said there was no way of knowing where the lemur had come from.

Back to health: Blue Cross chief vet Mark Bossley, who has been looking after King Julien said the lemur was the most unusual animal that the charity had ever taken in

The creatures originate from the island of Madagascar in Africa and require a special licence to own.

Mr Bossley added: 'We mainly treat cats and dogs at the Blue Cross but we do get the odd snake or tortoise, and we have been known to treat chickens, goats and even possums.

'But this has got to be the most unusual animal we’ve ever taken in. How a ring-tailed lemur turned up in Tooting Common, I’ll never know.'

The lemur is now on the road to recovery and strong enough to leave the hospital. He will now be transferred to the Specialist Wildlife Services who will try to rehome him.

Scene: Tooting Common in south west London, where King Julien, the lemur was found suffering from hypothermia (file photo)

New home, new name: The lemur has been named King Julien after the character in the animated film Madagascar

source: dailymail

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