A female baby Coquerel’s Sifaka (CAHK-ker-rells sh-FAHK), an endangered lemur species from Madagascar, was born at the Saint Louis Zoo’s Primate House! The baby’s name is Kapika (kah-PEE-kah), which means 'peanut' in Malagasy. Born on January 21, the baby can now be seen by visitors indoors at the Primate House.
This is the fourth baby for mother, Almirena (al-mah-REE-nah), age 12, from the Los Angeles Zoo, and father Caligula, age 16, from Duke Lemur Center.
See video of the lemur family:
The zoo’s Sifakas are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Coquerel’s Sifaka Species Survival Plan, which is responsible for maintaining a genetically healthy population of Sifakas in North American zoos. The birth of this rare lemur in St. Louis represents a valuable genetic contribution to the North American Sifaka population.
Learn more after the fold!
Like many other types of lemurs, the Coquerel's sifaka is in danger of extinction in the wild. These animals suffer from continued habitat loss, as their forest homes are logged for timber and turned into farmland.
Clinging to the trunk of a tree, Sifakas can kick off with their powerful legs and leap more than 30 feet (9 m) to another tree. On the ground, with arms raised, they move in a charmingly odd bipedal hop.
The Saint Louis Zoo is home to the international headquarters of the Madagascar Fauna Group, a consortium of zoos and aquariums committed to conserving lemurs and other wildlife species within their native habitat.