The Wanderu exhibit was opened in 2022.
Ostrava has been keeping lion-tailed macaques since 1978. All this time, these rare and endangered primates have inhabited relatively confined quarters lacking natural vegetation. Their old house dates back to 1966, is now completely inadequate and awaits demolition. Now the macaques have lived to see a new and standard-exceeding facility that offers them much more space, mature trees and overall conditions important for them to express their natural behaviour.
The animal’s indigenous name – Wanderu – has been adopted into other languages such as German, English and Polish. In Czech, this name has now been replaced by a different local name. Once a quite frequent species in captivity, today the lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus) is hard to see even in collections; indeed, it is the most endangered macaque species.
Found in the last remnants of tropical rainforest in the Western Ghats Mountains, south-western India, up to the elevation of 2,500 m, this macaque lives in small groups. While formerly, male territories overlapped and the males migrated among individual groups, individual populations are now isolated from each other as a result of deforestation, which can lead to unwanted inbreeding and reduced population viability. The Lion-tailed Macaque is also threatened by illegal hunting. It is estimated that there are fewer than 2,500 adults in the wild. This macaque is a red-listed species (Endangered) on the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species. Its name was derived from the silver-coloured hairs lining the head, resembling a lion’s mane.
In addition to macaques, species dwelling in the new exhibit include the northern tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri), the indian sand boa (Gongylophis conicus) and the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius).
The house is open all year round.