A baby lemur who was on the brink of death after being rejected by its mum has been saved by a zoologist who took him into her home.
Ekaterina Melnikova, who works at Perm Zoo in Russia, took the tiny Ring-tailed lemur home after it failed to get enough milk from its mum and was just hours from death.
The zoologist nurtured the vulnerable animal for two weeks – feeding him around the clock just like a baby – on a diet of milk and mashed banana.
Eventually the lemur gained enough weight and was able to join its family once again.
However, the youngster still sees Ekaterina as his mum – jumping up to greet her when she visits the enclosure.
Ekaterina, who has worked at the zoo for six years, said: “When the babies were born everything was okay at first but after about a month we found one baby on the floor and very weak.
“We took him out of the enclosure to examine him and found he hadn’t put on any weight so he wasn’t getting enough of its mother’s milk.
“I decided to take him in for a while and feed him manually. We named him Klyopa.
“He was in a critical condition and required 24-hour care so that’s how he came to be in my house.
“He was almost motionless at first but I fed him small portions and soon, as he got stronger, he came to recognise me as his mother.
“Once he was fed he would sleep on my neck and when he was awake he would play with me. He soon started jumping and crawling up the furniture and curtains.
“I had to watch him very attentively and keep the windows and doors closed.
“It wasn’t easy, you have the same difficulties as you do with a baby. You don’t get enough sleep and the baby needs all of your attention and care.
“Finally, after two weeks he was well enough to return to his family.
“It was a pretty dangerous moment as none of us knew if they would accept him back but fortunately everything went smoothly.
“He still remembers me when I visit though. He thinks I am a relative and happily jumps on the cage wall.”