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Bemaraha Woolly Lemur
Cleesi
Information
Common Name Cleese's Woolly Lemur
Range western Madagascar
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Primates
Family Indriidae
Genus Avahi
Species Avahi cleesei
Conservation Status
ENSpecies
Endangered

The Bemaraha woolly lemur (Avahi cleesei), also known as Cleese's woolly lemur, is a species of woolly lemur endemic western Madagascar, named after John Cleese. The scientist who discovered the species named it after Cleese, star of Monty Python, mainly because of Cleese's fondness for lemurs, as shown in Operation Lemur With John Cleese and Fierce Creatures, and his efforts at protecting and preserving them. The species was first discovered in 1990 by a team of scientists from Zurich University led by Urs Thalmann, but wasn't formally described as a species until November 11, 2005.

This diurnal lemur weighs about 5–6 kilograms (11–13 lb), has brown skin with white regions on the rear and inside of the thighs and has a short damp nose, large plate eyes, and ears which hardly stand out from the skin. It typically has a strictly vegetarian diet of leaves and buds, living together in small families. The local population calls the species dadintsifaky, which means "Grandfather of the Sifaka", because it is similarly sized to sifakas, but more ponderous, heavyset and has ample greyish-brown fur.

The habitat is limited to the Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve in western Madagascar, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The lemur is probably threatened with becoming extinct in the long run, since the size of the population is unknown so far and its habitat shrinks continuously.

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