John Cleese's lemur honour
Jul 23, 2008, 10:35 GMT
John Cleese - © Lee Roth / RothStock / PR Photos
John Cleese would rather have a species of lemur named after him than receive a "knighthood".
The former 'Monty Python' star - who turned down a CBE in 1996 - insists it was more of an honour when a variety of woolly lemur was named Avahi Cleesei in 2005.
Cleese said: "A Swiss guy asked for permission to name it after me. I would rather have that than a knighthood or a peerage."
Cleese has been a keen admirer of lemurs since he was a young boy and has worked tirelessly to protect the species - which is regarded as the most endangered primate in the world.
The Avahi Cleesei was discovered by Urs Thalmann, part of a team from Zurich University, in 1990.
Cleese championed the plight of the lemur in his comedy film 'Fierce Creatures' and also made a documentary called 'Operation Lemur with John Cleese'.
Lemurs can only be found on the island of Madagascar, off the East coast of Africa, which has developed in isolation from the rest of the world for 165 million years.
Cleese was at Bristol Zoo in South West England yesterday (22.07.08) to raise money for conservation projects.