She is a Sifaka lemur from the country of Madagascar. Her name is short for Marojejy (mah-roo-JEH-jee), which is a national park that is home to many types of lemur. Sifaka lemurs are also called “dancing lemurs”, and Maro loves all sorts of music and dancing. She likes to laugh and tell jokes. She wears a necklace of colored beads that tell the story of salvation.
(Maro has three brothers, Philibert (phee-lee-BER), Francois (fran-SWAH) and Toulouse (too-LOOZ), and a sister, Jejy (JEH-jee), who were introduced in the story Children In Need. They have no parents and Maro, as the eldest, runs the household.)
The Sifaka Lemur lives on the island of Madagascar. There are 99 different kinds of lemurs, and the only place in the world to find them is Madagascar. Sifaka Lemurs are also called Dancing Lemurs, because when they are on the ground, they hop from place to place. They are white, with black faces, hands and feet, and a reddish-brown color all down the front. They look sort of like monkeys, but they are not. They use their tails for balance, like a squirrel, and not for holding on to things like monkeys do. When they are not hopping around in the trees or looking for food, they like to lie out on branches or on the ground and sunbathe. The name ‘lemur’ comes from the Latin word for ‘ghost’. People were often frightened of them because of their glowing eyes and the scary noises they make at night.
Madagascar (ma-duh-GAS-car) is an island off the east coast of Africa. The capital city of Madagascar is Antananarivo (ahn-tah-nah-nah-REE-voh). Most of the people in Madagascar speak a language called Malagasy (maa-lah-GAS-ee), although French is also popular. The main religion in Madagascar is traditional tribal worship, but there are some Christians there as well. Madagascar is a small island, but it is very diverse—there are rainforests, grasslands, forests and deserts all on the same island. There are also many exotic plants and animals here—eighty-five percent of them are not found anywhere else in the world! The money in Madagascar is called the Ariary