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Brett Westwood and Verity Sharp explore our relationship with the Aye-Aye. It fascinates and terrifies us with its large eyes, big ears, long bony middle finger and hairy body.

Think sprite or hobgoblin and you are nearly there when it comes to the Aye-Aye, surely one of the weirdest looking creatures on earth? With its large saucer-like eyes, massive ears, and long skeletal middle finger which its uses to tap for grubs on logs, this lemur both fascinates and terrifies us. Endemic to the forests of Madagascar, some local people believe that if one looks at you, someone in your village will die. They even hang up an aye-aye on the edge of the village in some areas to ward off evil spirits. We are responsible for the demise of the aye-aye in other ways; by destroying the forests on which it depends. But as we hear, get up close to an aye-aye and you’ll meet one of the most alluring and watchable mammals on the planet. Not merely a creature in close harmony with its disappearing world, but as Brett Westwood and Verity Sharp discover an ambassador for conservation which still has us in its thrall. Producer Sarah Blunt

Contributors
Mark Carwardine – Zoologist
Lee Durrell – Honarary Director of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust
Alan Toyne - Team Leader of Mammals at Bristol Zoo Gardens
Charlie Welch - Conservation Co-ordinator at the Duke Lemur Centre, North Carolina
Michael Hearst – Composer and musician. Composer of Songs for Unusual Creatures.
Amanda Webber- Co-lead of the Madagascar Field Project at Bristol Zoo Gardens
Sinead MacInnes – BBC Radio Drama Company Actor

Photo of an Aye-Aye courtesy of Bristol Zoo Gardens

Available now

28 minutes

Last on

Fri 29 Nov 2019 11:00

Broadcast

  • Fri 29 Nov 2019 11:00

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