Sir Richard Branson was stopped in his latest bid to export lemurs to his £60million private Caribbean island, Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands. With his deep love for nature and for saving endangered animals, he has often claimed that he wants to save various species from extinction, in this case, the lemurs.
The Virgin tycoon hoped to fly 24 lemurs, which were born and bred at a private British zoo, to Necker Island. But four of the animals were seized by officials at Gatwick airport and not allowed on board the flight because their microchips could not be located. The animials were held back by DEFRA, the department that deals with the exportation of endangered species. A fifth was also not allowed to fly because it became ill after a TB jab.
Sir Richard, 62, is hoping to preserve the endangered lemurs, which are found only on the African island of Madagascar. A spokeswoman for billionaire Sir Richard confirmed the 19 lemurs had arrived on Necker, taking the total there to 37. Of the three held back, she said: ‘This will get sorted and we expect them to follow shortly. ‘Sir Richard cares passionately about endangered species.’