Nashville Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of four Red Ruffed Lemurs on May 30. A little male, who has been named Emilio, and his three demure sisters (named Demi, Ally, and Andie) are the second group of Lemurs to be born at Nashville Zoo since the Zoo moved to their Grassmere property in 1996. This is also the second litter for their nine-year-old mom, Lyra.
The new babies weighed roughly 75 to 90 grams each at birth, and were approximately 8-10 inches long.
With the addition of the four babies, Nashville Zoo is now home to a total of nine Red Ruffed Lemurs.
Unlike other primate species, Red Ruffed Lemurs do not carry their young. Instead, they keep their young in a nest, nursing and caring for them until they are more independent and mobile.
Zoo guests can see the new litter’s three older siblings and dad, Dino, on exhibit along ‘Bamboo Trail’. The four newest additions will remain indoors with mom until they are old enough to venture outside, which zookeepers estimate to be in about a month.
Red Ruffed Lemurs (Varecia rubra) are one of more than 100 species of Lemurs on the island of Madagascar. The IUCN has classified the species as “Critically Endangered” in the wild due to habitat loss, illegal hunting and pet trade.
Nashville Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan for this species to increase the captive population. The Zoo also contributes financially to SAVA Conservation, which works on saving the Lemur species in the wild. More information can be found at: http://lemur.duke.edu/protect/conservation/sava-conservation/ .