It's ladies first in the lemur enclosure at Sewerby Hall
THEIR days are spent sunbathing, eating bananas and getting first dibs on the water.
The life of a lemur is pretty stress-free – if you're a female.
Four ring-tailed lemurs have been relaxing in their new home at Sewerby Hall and Gardens near Bridlington.
But in the world of lemurs, it is the girls that get the good things in life.
Come and discover the wildlife at Blacktoft Sands nature reserve for just £6. Offer includes entry for 2 adults and up to 3 children, binocular hire and activities for children. Normal value £12.
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The three female lemurs – Luna, Hera and Maddy – enjoy all the luxuries, while male Shy is the last to the food bowl.
"Lemurs live in a matriarchal society, so he is the last one to get food," said head zoo-keeper John Pickering.
"You'd think three girls and one guy would be an ideal life – but it isn't.
"They are the bosses and get everything first. They make him wait his turn."
The four lemurs are the latest addition to the hall's zoo.
They came from Parrot Zoo in Lincolnshire and moved into a specially designed enclosure a few weeks ago.
John said: "Our pheasant pens needed re-doing and there was a great big sycamore tree in the middle of them.
"Part of it fell down in the 1990s but it was such an impressive tree we wanted to leave some of it. So we thought some of the trunk would be ideal for the lemurs. They love climbing on it."
Like ladies of luxury, at the first glimpse of sun the female lemurs like nothing more than stretching out for a sunbathe.
"They love leaping around and jumping on to the tree trunk," said John.
"And as soon as the sun comes out they love to sunbathe.
"They really are very active and inquisitive.
"We have squirrels roaming around the grounds and one got in their enclosure the other day – they were fascinated by it.
"I don't think they like birds though.
"When flocks fly overhead they look very dubious."
The cheeky primates are never shy, especially when it comes to meal times.
Come 2pm, they are all ready and waiting to scoff down fruit, leaves and flowers.
The Madagascan natives do not digest citrus fruit well, so are instead given bananas, grapes, apples, pears, carrots and broccoli.
When keepers go into the enclosure, the lemurs like to pick food from their hands while sitting on their shoulders.
And it is their trusting and tame nature that could make them ideal candidates for an "animal encounters" feature at the zoo.
John said: "We are thinking of doing an animal encounters experience where the public can feed them."
The lemurs have proved to be a big hit with visitors, who love taking photographs and watching them nibble their food.
John said: "I love having them here. They're a big hit with the visitors and a great addition to Sewerby."
Admission to the zoo costs £2.50 for adults and £1.20 for children aged three to 15. For more information, visit www. eastriding.gov.uk/sewerby or call 01262 673769.