North Anston: Television star opens new attraction at Tropical Butterfly House

Barry Elliott with a Ring-tailed Lemur at the Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre, photograph by Ben Coulson
Barry Elliott with a Ring-tailed Lemur at the Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre, photograph by Ben Coulson

Crowds gathered at the Tropical Butterfly House at the weekend to see a popular television personality cut the ribbon to a new enclosure.

Barry Chuckle opened the new lemur exhibit which incorporates a spacious, glass-fronted, indoor courtyard, leading to an outdoor area where the lemurs are free to wander amongst guests and leap around the trees.

Barry, from television show Chucklevision, also unveiled a commemorative plaque before exploring the new attraction.

Zoo curator and manager, Andrew Reeve, is proud of the finished result after months of construction.

He said: “We believe we have created the leading Lemur exhibit in Britain; thanks to the careful planning of the enclosure with the needs of the lemurs as priority, whilst also ensuring an unforgettable experience for the public.”

Presenters team leader, Heather Scott, who helped arrange the official opening, said: “Visitors of all ages were excited to have their photos taken with Mr Chuckle and say hello.”

“Barry was on top form when he took the microphone to introduce Lemur Heights before cutting the red ribbon and got everyone in the mood with some signature Chuckle Brother catchphrases.”

“It was a wonderful atmosphere and a great way to celebrate the completion of one of our biggest ever projects.”

Lemur Heights is home to ring-tailed Lemurs and red-ruffed Lemurs, which are part of a breeding programme to ensure a sustainable captive population.

Both species are under threat in their natural habitat in Madagascar due to deforestation and hunting and staff at the Tropical Butterfly House have taken the opportunity of the new attraction to raise interest in helping wild lemurs.

Since Easter, the park has raised almost £1,700 for the Madagascar Fauna Group, helping to support research and conservation projects for over one hundred different species of lemur.

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