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Smart lemurs learn how to turn thermostat up during cold snap at Tropiquaria Zoo

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: January 22, 2013

One of the savvy lemurs keeps warm on the heater at Tropiquaria Zoo in Watchet

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A group of lemurs have found a crafty way to cope with the current cold snap – by reaching into a heater cage and turning up the thermostat on their own.

Staff at Tropiquaria Zoo, in Watchet, Somerset, were worried how the new group of ring-tailed lemurs might cope with the freeze, but Devine, William, Katrina, Barry and Julien have adapted well.

The lemurs arrived a few weeks before Christmas, when the cold weather first struck, and in the last few days they have discovered a way to climb into the cage so they can drape themselves over the heater.

Chris Moiser, the zoo director, said: “We had the heater set at a temperature that we thought they would find comfortable.

“Over Christmas, to facilitate staff holidays, I fed them myself for a couple of days and noticed on the first day that the heating had been turned up to maximum.

“I turned it down again and made a mental note to speak to the keepers.

“The following day, it was up to maximum again and, after watching them discretely for some time, we discovered that on the cooler nights they were reaching in to where the heater was contained and turning the thermostat to max. On the warmer nights, they didn’t do it.

“Over the last few days, as it has become really cold, they have discovered how to break into the heater cage and, as well as turning up the heat, they will drape themselves over it.”

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  • siarad2  |  January 22 2013, 3:02PM

    Having thought to be of lowly brain power studies are now showing differently, they lack the hand co-ordination of our branch using their noses instead. It'd be interesting to find out how they move the thermostat & did they discover it or watch others to copy.