Makis cattas - Animaux extraordinaires du ZooParc

Ring-tailed lemur

Lemur catta

IUCN status
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Maki catta - Animaux extraordinaires du ZooParc

« In Madagascar, some lemurs are thought to be reincarnations of departed ancestors… »

The star of the lemurs

Or at least, the most famous

Ring-tailed lemurs, like all lemurs, are found only in southern Madagascar. This highly adaptable species can be found in many different forest habitats including gallery forests, littoral forests, and spiny scrub… It has a particular affinity for forests that are dominated by tamarind trees, which provide its favourite food, and other large trees measuring 20-25 metres in height. The French name for this species is “maki catta”, derived from the Latin “cattus”, meaning cat. This is due to this lemur’s feline appearance, especially its long tail and pointy ears. It is also known as the lemur-cat in French.

Maki catta - Animaux extraordinaires du ZooParc

Did you know?

A light snack for our baby ring-tailed lemur

Watch our 2-month old baby ring-tailed lemur tasting a frozen enrichment for the first time! Intrigued by the treat, he dives straight in.

The Beauval Nature association

For the past 10 years, the Beauval Nature association has joined forces with field workers to support them in their primary mission of species conservation. Beauval works closely with numerous conservation and research programmes around the world to study and protect endangered species. This everyday action takes place in order to protect our biodiversity.

Makis cattas - Animaux extraordinaires du ZooParc

Beauval’s ring-tailed lemurs

During your visit to Beauval, you can observe our group of ring-tailed lemurs as soon as you enter the ZooParc. 

Curious and playful, they are always looking for new acrobatic feats to perform, both on the ground and high up in the trees!

Makis cattas - Animaux extraordinaires du ZooParc
Makis cattas - Animaux extraordinaires du ZooParc
Makis cattas - Animaux extraordinaires du ZooParc
Maki catta - Animaux extraordinaires du ZooParc
Beauval Nature

Sponsor our ring-tailed lemurs

Establish a strong bond with your favourite animal whilst supporting conservation programmes through the Beauval Nature association!


Learn more about the species

  • Diet
  • Gestation period
    4 to 5 months
  • Litter size
    1 to 2 young
  • Habitat
    Tropical forests

A sun salutation ritual

Have you ever observed a lemur having a yoga session? For ring-tailed lemurs, the afternoon is a much-appreciated time of the day. This is when you can see them, sitting on the highest branches or on the ground, sunbathing. With arms and legs outstretched, the ring-tailed lemur assumes positions that are like those used by us humans to relax and meditate. The ring-tailed lemur is in fact exposing its belly and back to the sun in order to soak up its heat and warm its body.

The sweet smell of seduction

Ring-tailed lemur reproduction is seasonal. It begins in April, with births taking place between August and September. The females decide which males they will mate with. In order to seduce the females, the males compete with one another in unusual fights. They rub their tails against glands on their wrists and torso to cover them with their scent. Once covered in this smelly “armour”, they place their tail above their head and shake it in the direction of their adversary. These “stink fights” can last anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 hour. The male with the strongest odour wins the duel!

The ghosts of the forests

Lemurs get their name from the lemures, ghosts from Roman mythology. The first researchers to have observed these primates in the forests found that they had similarities with these ghosts. For some, their large reflective eyes and ghostly cries reinforce this view. In Madagascar, some lemurs are thought to be reincarnations of departed ancestors…

Where can I see them in the park?

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Other species in the territory

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