It's quadruplets at the Happy Hollow Park & Zoo in San Jose, California! Born May 17th, the endangered Red Ruffed lemurs spent the last few weeks in their comfy nest box with mom. Now big enough to venture out, the four curious little boys have begun to explore their surroundings.
So small!Basically the size of an apple.
A peek through a hole in the nest box reveals imminent rough-housing
Endangered due to habitat destruction, poaching and capture for the pet trade, these Red Ruffed lemurs are part of a Species Survival Plan that coordinates breeding between the fifty-two accredited zoos in North America with Red Ruffed lemurs. Read more about it below.
Endangered Lemur Quadruplets Born at Happy Hollow Park & Zoo
Births Contribute to International Conservation Efforts
San José, CA---- Happy Hollow Park & Zoo is proud to announce the birth of endangered Red Ruffed lemur quadruplets on May 17, 2009. The births are the first of a kind for Happy Hollow and mark an important step for both the Zoo and this endangered species. The babies, two females and two males, have become more visible as the mother has started to leave the nest box for small periods at a time.
The births are also a first for the new parents. Meva, the 9-year old mother who came from the Micke Grove Zoo in Lodi one year ago while the father, Achelous, 26, has been at Happy Hollow since 1990. Meva is part of the Ruffed lemur Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums dedicated to long-term management and conservation of the lemur. The Ruffed lemur SSP, consisting of fifty-two zoos, representing 166 individual animals, maintains genetic records of the Ruffed lemur in captivity throughout North America and makes recommendations to Zoos regarding breeding. Red Ruffed lemurs are listed as endangered, due to habitat loss, hunting, and the pet trade as primary threats. The exact status of the animals in the wild is not fully known. Participation in the Ruffed lemur SSP gives zoos a direct impact on the status of an endangered species.
“The SSP is the computer dating plan for Ruffed lemurs,” says Valerie Riegel, Zoo Curator, “After holding a bachelor group of Ruffed lemurs for almost twenty years, we were excited about the SSP breeding recommendation to provide the boys with the opportunity to meet a female for the first time - and are pleased to have the results of this significant pairing more than double the population of Red Ruffed lemurs here at the Zoo!”
Zoo staff have received numerous questions about where the animals are during the facility renovation. “The Zoo animals never left the facility during the closure – in fact they have been doing quite well,” says Riegel. “New ones have arrived from other facilities as we prepare to re-open, and in some cases others have been born here like the lemurs and an endangered Parma wallaby.”