On March 29, Harriet, one of the White Collared Lemurs at Linton Zoological Gardens, gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Jako, one of the Malagasy words for monkey. Every lemur has its own distinct personality, and with Jako being such an energetic, playful, comical little bundle of fun, they thought ‘monkey’ was a very apt name.
There are only 13 White Collared Lemurs in captivity in Europe, nine of which are at Linton. This mischievous new baby lives with his Dad Jeepster, mom Harriet and sister Mirana, born last year. This species has been listed as one of the top 25 rarest primates in the world; every captive birth will help to ensure it does not become completely extinct!
The White Collared Lemur (Eulemur cinereiceps), also known as the Grey Headed Lemur, is from the South West of Madagascar, and highly threatened in the wild. Despite being protected, it is still hunted for food and continued habitat destruction and alteration is a major problem. It has a total remaining habitat area of less than 270 square miles (700 km²), which is very fragmented and partly shared with the Red Fronted Lemur. This has resulted in hybridization between the two species therefore lowering the genetic diversity of the wild population.