One last bit of uplifting animal news in the North West for 2023, as a critically endangered species most commonly known as a ‘dancing lemur’ has been born at Chester Zoo.
The award-winning wildlife conservation park and zoo has had another great 12 months, helping improve nature recovery around the Cheshire region, welcoming multiple rare breeds like the Bornean orangutan, baby okapis and black jaguar, and now helping give birth to another endangered primate.
Arriving back in September and pictured for the first time ahead of the festive period, one of the Chester Zoo‘s female Coquerel’s sifakas, a.k.a. the ‘dancing lemur’, gave birth to a 120g baby following a five-month pregnancy, one of just handful in Europe.
The tiny new arrival was born to parents Beatrice, 11, and 10-year-old Elliot, whose family are the only dancing lemurs anywhere in the UK. Incredible.
Seen here, the Coquerel’s sifaka (Propithecus coquereli) are dubbed dancing lemurs due to the unique way they move, springing from side to side along the ground, as well as leaping more than 20 feet into the air and among the treetops.
With their population wiped out by around 80% over the past three decades, not mention more than 90% of their indigenous home in the northwestern forests of Madagascar — the only place where lemurs are found in the wild on Earth — having also been destroyed, the significance of his birth cannot be overstated.
Clinging to its mother’s fur in these early months, the baby is soon expected to start branching out and exploring on its own, at which point the zookeepers will be able to determine whether it is a girl or a boy. Lemurs are a rarity in the mammal world as they are one of the few species that are female-dominant.
Once again, this is important to determine in regards to the survival of the animal as, sadly, 94% of all lemur populations are at risk of dying out and several larger species have already gone extinct. They also play a huge role in maintaining forest health and diversity through seed dispersal and pollination.
Speaking on the birth, Dr Nick Davis, Primatologist and General Manager of Mammals at the zoo, said: “A new arrival into the conservation breeding programme is a huge boost for the species, especially as the little one will be joining only five other Coquerel’s sifaka living in zoos across Europe, so every addition is very special.
“The new baby was born with a thick fuzzy white coat, just like its parents, and is already wide-eyed and full of personality. Mum Beatrice is being kept very busy with her playful arrival who is feeding from her regularly and has, so far, shown great signs of development.”
Chester Zoo’s Director of Animals and Plants, Mike Jordan, added that the conversation and charity arm has helped “develop a special area of protected [Madagscan] forest, spanning more than 27,000 hectares, to safeguard the island’s unique wildlife including lemurs, frogs and reptiles.”
The hope is to “ensure species like the Coquerel’s sifaka can thrive for generations to come” and, thanks to the zoo’s vital work, they’re backing up that mission statement across all manner of wildlife.
A look at the plans to turn historic Ancoats mill with rich musical heritage into new apartment complex
Hodder + Partners have just revealed new CGIs and a more detailed look at the plans for their redevelopment of the longstanding Brunswick Mill in Ancoats which is set to become a brand-new apartment complex.
The proposals to turn the once creative space with decades of musical heritage into a new residential site were revealed back in 2021 and approved within just a few months, despite having been met with plenty of resistance given its history and cultural significance.
Nevertheless, Northern company Big Red Construction recently kicked off the £50+ million renovation on behalf of developer Arrowsmith Investments and the apartments are projected to be finished in 2026.
With that in mind, the architectural designers Hodder have just released a new look at what Brunswick Mill is set to look like once completed:
The short trailer gives a glimpse at the history of the Brunswick Mill space and what it’s set to become.
Set to transform the historic industrial mill-turned-creative space and music studios on the edge of New Islington into 153 new apartments, ranging from one, two and three-bedroom residences, the redevelopment will be spread across two phases.
In line with designs by Hodder + Partners, the initial phase involves converting the existing mill building and the construction of new four and seven-storey elements to accommodate the remaining 127 homes on the Bradford Road plot in Ancoats.
Big Red Construction, who are also working on the Peelers Yard building for CERT Property and Myprotein founder Oliver Cookson, are expected to complete phase one by the first quarter of 2026.
Here’s another look at what living space people are already buying up:
The bathroom plans.‘New with the old’ bedroom-designs.A first look inside the Brunswick Mill flats. (Credit: Supplied)
Along with Hodder + Partners as architects, the project team also consists of HW Consultancy who are covering structural aspects, Manchester firm Clancy for mechanical and electrical considerations, as well as AM Pyro as fire engineers.
With property company Orlando Reid serving as estate agents for the project, 42 out of the 153 apartments have already been sold off-plan, with managing director Baljit Arora describing it as “an exciting period for all parties involved and for the city of Manchester”.
This is just the latest chapter in the continued regeneration of the Ancoats and the New Islington areas, which remain two of the most heavily re-developed areas in the city centre and Greater Manchester as a whole. You can see other hot properties in and around the region HERE.