Video: London Zoo's lemur of doom

  • 22/10/2016
London's new aye aye lemur (APTN)
London's new aye aye lemur (APTN)

London Zoo is welcoming the first ever baby aye-aye lemur just in time for Halloween.

The species of lemur (formally known as Daubentonia madagascariensis) are unique in that they have an unusually large middle finger and are associated with doom in their native Madagascar.

Natives there believe that if an aye-aye points its long finger at you, death is not far away.

The Sakalava people go so far as to claim aye-ayes sneak into houses through the thatched roofs and murder the sleeping occupants by using their middle finger to puncture the victim's aorta.

That belief is part of the reason why the animals are endangered. Madagascan locals used to kill the animals if they saw them in the wild.

Video: London Zoo's lemur of doom

An aye-aye lemur using its digit finger to find insects (APTN)

However the finger is not just used as a bad omen, London Zoo senior keeper Christina Stender says it is also helpful for the animal to find food.

"They have massive ears, which are used to locate any sounds they make when they tap away with the middle digits because it's elongated so that can indicate where insects are in the trees,"

Aye-ayes are the only primates thought to use this method to find prey.

The creepy looking creature was actually born on July 1 but has only emerged from its secluded nesting box for the first time this week.

Ms Stender says she hardly saw the baby over the first few months because the Aye-Aye  stayed in its nest.

"We had several different nestboxes in the enclosure so she could move the baby around because that's normally what they would do in the wild as well so we give it that opportunity."