Cleveland Metroparks Zoo announces the birth of two Red-ruffed Lemurs, the second litter for mom Vari and her breeding partner Toros. The twin girls, named Carina and Cassiopeia, were born May 8 and are on exhibit with their mom in the Zoo’s Primate, Cat & Aquatics building. While the twins currently spend a lot of time in their nest box, they get braver every day and will soon venture out to explore the rest of their exhibit.
Red-ruffed Lemurs (Varecia rubra) are a critically endangered species native to the island nation of Madagascar off the southeastern coast of Africa. They are active throughout the day, and are characterized by their loud, peculiar sounding vocalizations. Red-ruffed Lemurs in the wild face increasing habitat deforestation, in addition to hunting and commercial exportation. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan for red-ruffed Lemurs as well as the SSPs for ring-tailed, mongoose, crowned and collared lemurs. SSP programs identify population management goals and make recommendations to ensure the sustainability, health and genetic diversity of those populations.
Vari herself was born at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in 2005. Toros, who is just about to turn 20, came to Cleveland in 2009 from the San Antonio Zoo. He is on breeding loan from the Duke Lemur Center in Durham, North Carolina where he was born in 1991.