La Palmyre Zoo

Zoo Provides Special Care for Special Little Lemur

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On April 9, a rare Blue-eyed Black Lemur at La Palmyre Zoo gave birth to a tiny female. Due to a low birth weight, the newborn was transferred to the zoo’s nursery.

According to the zoo, there are only about thirty individuals in the Blue-eyed Black Lemur European Endangered Species Programme (EEP); therefore, each birth is of crucial importance.

For the past month, the nursery team at La Palmyre Zoo has been taking care of the small, fragile female, who has been named Ikopa. Keepers feed her milk every two hours, from 8am to 9pm. Since two weeks of age, she has also been given fruits (apple, pear, kiwi) and vegetables (salad, cucumber).

Ikopa’s parents and older brother (born in 2015) have been transferred to an adjacent cage so the family can maintain visual and sound contact between all the individuals. When weaning is completed, Ikopa will be reintroduced to her parents and sibling.

As for the keepers, they are in contact with the baby only for feeding her or when the incubator is to be cleaned (imprinting being the worst enemy of the animals raised at the nursery).

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4_MG_2419Photo Credits: F. Perroux/Zoo de La Palmyre

The Blue-eyed Black Lemur (Eulemur flavifrons), also known as the “Sclater's Lemur”, is a species of true lemur. It inhabits primary and secondary sub-tropical moist and dry forests in the northwestern tip of Madagascar.

The species can attain a body length of 39–45 cm, a tail length of 51–65 cm- a total length of 90–100 cm, and a weight of 1.8-1.9 kg. A primate, this lemur has strong hands with palms like a human, which have a rubbery texture to give it a firm grip on branches. Its tail is longer than its body and non-prehensile.

Active during day and night, the Blue-eyed Black Lemur lives in multi-male/multi-female groups of up to a dozen individuals. It feeds mainly on fruits and leaves. Like many other lemur species, females are dominant over males.

In the wild, females give birth to one or two offspring in June or July, after a gestation of 120 to 129 days. The young are weaned after about 5–6 months, and reach maturity at about 2 years of age. They may live between 15–30 years in captivity.

A victim of habitat fragmentation (slash and burn destruction) and poaching, it is currently classified as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List. It is believed that only about 1,000 individuals remain in the wild.

The Association Européenne pour l’Etude et la Conservation des Lémuriens (AEECL), supported by La Palmyre Zoo since 2002, has been developing a conservation program in the home range of the species in Sahamalaza (northwestern Madagascar), where eco-guards protect the forest from fires and illegal incursions, the area being recognized as a national park since 2007. The AEECL also supports the education of children and the sustainable development of communities.

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La Palmyre Welcomes Quad of Ring-tailed Lemurs

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La Palmyre Zoo, in France, recently welcomed four new Ring-tailed Lemurs!

The infants were born to three different mothers between March 3 and March 12. The sexes of the infants are yet-to-be-determined, but Zoo Keepers report that the youngsters (which includes a set of twins) are keeping their families busy and doing fantastic! 

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4_MG_0144Photo Credits: Florence Perroux/ La Palmyre Zoo

The Ring-tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) is a large strepsirrhine primate and recognized due to its long, black and white ringed tail. It belongs to Lemuridae, one of five Lemur families, and is the only member of the Lemur genus.

It is endemic to the island of Madagascar and inhabits deciduous forests, dry scrub, humid forests, and gallery forests along riverbanks. The species is omnivorous and the diet includes flowers, herbs, bark and sap, as well as spiders, caterpillars, cicadas, grasshoppers, and small vertebrates.

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Endangered Capuchin Born at Zoo de la Palmyre

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A Yellow-breasted Capuchin was born on May 17, at Zoo de la Palmyre, bringing the number living in the Zoo’s Monkey House to a total of ten.

The sex of the young Capuchin is yet unknown. Determining the sex requires being able to observe the infant closely, in the right position, which isn’t easy during the first weeks, as the baby spends a lot of time sleeping with its belly pressed against mother.

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4_MG_0763Photo Credits: F. Perroux/Zoo de la Palmyre

Capuchins are New World monkeys of the subfamily Cebinae. They are readily identified as the "organ-grinder" monkey, and were once very popular in movies and television. The range of Capuchin monkeys includes Central America and South America as far south as northern Argentina. They usually occupy the wet lowland forests on Caribbean coast of Costa Rica and Panama and deciduous dry forest on the Pacific coast.

There are 22 different species of Capuchins in the wild. Yellow-breasted Capuchins (Cebus xanthosternos), also known as “Buff-headed Capuchin” or “Golden-bellied Capuchin”, are endemic to the Brazilian Atlantic forest and live in groups from 10 to 30 individuals. Males can exceed 4kg while females are smaller and weigh less than 3.5kg.

Their prehensile tail acts like a fifth limb and allows them to free their hands while foraging. But unlike the tail of Spider and Howler Monkeys, Capuchins cannot hang by their tail excepting young individuals helped by their lower weight.

Although their diet is mostly composed of fruits, Capuchins also consume eggs and small prey, such as lizards, insects, or birds.

The species is severely threatened by habitat loss, as a result of the massive ongoing deforestation throughout its range: about 92% of the original surface of the Brazilian Atlantic forest has already been destroyed. Captures for the illegal pet trade and hunting for food are also serious treats.

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Baby Tamarins Part of Global Conservation Program

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Two Golden Lion Tamarins born March 13 at France’s La Palmyre Zoo are part of a worldwide program aimed at boosting the wild population.

Golden Lion Tamarins were on the brink of extinction in their native Brazilian rain forest in the 1980s.  Between 1984 and 2001, a worldwide consortium of 43 zoos, including La Palmyre Zoo, translocated 146 individuals to Brazil to bolster the wild population.  Thanks to this program, there are now more than 3,000 Golden Lion Tamarins in the wild, with about 1,000 of these being descendants of the zoo-born translocated animals. 

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_MG_8947Photo Credit:  F. Perroux/La Palmyre Zoo

Zoo-born Tamarins are still translocated occasionally to reinforce some wild populations.  The program also includes protection of the forest corridor that the Tamarins rely on for survival.

Without the translocation of zoo-born Tamarins, Golden Lion Tamarins might be extinct in the wild today.

These tiny Monkeys travel through the forests in small family groups, feeding on fruit, nectar, tree gum, and small animals. 

Golden Lion Tamarins weigh only one to two pounds as adults.  At birth, babies weight about 8-10% of their mothers’ body weight.   They are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

 


Two Baby Orangutans Born Just Weeks Apart

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Two Bornean Orangutan babies were born just three weeks apart at France’s La Palmyre Zoo.  The two little ones are important additions to the zoo breeding program designed to help save this endangered species.

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Photo Credit:  F. Perroux/Zoo de la Palmyre
 

During the night of August 15, 18-year old Katja gave birth to a male named Hutan after a gestation period of 7.5 months. Because this was Katja’s first baby, zoo keepers were concerned that her lack of experience could cause Katja to improperly care for her baby.  But Katja was mother-reared (as opposed to being hand-reared by humans) and observed many babies being raised in her family group, two factors that contribute to proper infant care.  So far Katja is taking good care of Hutan and exhibits strong maternal skills. 

Three weeks later, 39-year-old Tiba gave birth to her fifth baby, a female named Nanga. Tiba is an experienced mother. However, a few days after the birth, Tiba had to treated for an infection, which raised some concerns for her infant.  Fortunately, the treatment was successful Tiba is now doing much better.

These infants are the zoo’s first since 2002 and are the result of a new male Orangutan named Barito, who arrived in 2014 to replace the resident male, who was unable to produce offspring.

Katja and Tiba are together but remain isolated from the rest of the group so they can build strong bonds with their babies. Orangutans have the longest childhood of any animal except humans – babies remain with their mothers for 8-12 years.  Orangutans can live for more than 50 years.

Wild Bornean Orangutans face serious threats in the wild as rain forests are replaced by large palm oil plantations.  Found only on the island of Borneo, these apes are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to massive habitat destruction. 

La Palmyre Zoo supports the Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Project in Sabah, Borneo.  Only 20% of Sabah's Orangutans live in protected areas, so there's an urgent need to conserve the remaining 80% who live in plantations, commercial forests or unallocated lands. This conservation work includes reconnecting isolated forest fragments through land acquisition, creation of corridors, and construction of artificial bridges; minimizing human/animal conflicts; and collaborating with forest loggers and plantation operators in order to promote a sustainable oil palm industry.

See more photos of the baby Orangutans below.

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Baby Blue-Eyed Lemur Receives Special Care in France

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A baby Blue-Eyed Lemur has been receiving very special care at its home at the La Palmyre Zoo. When the youngster appeared weak and was having trouble clinging to its mother's fur following its birth on April 9th, keepers sprang into action to hand raise the baby, providing 24-hour care.

The little girl, the first of this species born at the zoo since they began caring for its kind eleven years ago, has been making great progress and is growing at a steady rate. After removing it for care, keepers brought its entire family to the nursery to make sure that the parents stayed in visual contact with the newborn. Now, at two months of age, the baby is healthy and reportedly very active.

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Photo Credit: F. Perroux / La Palmyre Zoo

Last week, both the newborn and its family were returned to their normal enclosure, however, for now the baby is remaining in its own cage within the enclosure as a precautionary measure due to its small size. When it is big enough, the baby will be slowly and carefully reintroduced to its entire family.

See and learn more after the fold!

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Un, Deux, Trois Cheetah Cubs, Born in France at La Palmyre Zoo

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On September 22, something exciting happened: three female cheetah cubs were born at La Palmyre Zoo in France. Mom Nandi's gestation lasted 91 days. At birth, the cubs weighed between .95 and 1.05 pounds (435-480 grams). Now, at 3 weeks old, they weigh almost 4.5 pounds (2 kilos). Watch them being weighed on the video below. The cubs have also opened their eyes - the first after 8 days, the last on day 12. 

This is the third litter for 8-year-old mother Nandi, and these births are very good news for the European captive breeding program of cheetahs. The species is listed as "vulnerable" on the UICN Red List. It is threatened by habitat destruction, conflicts with humans (and thus hunting), competition with other large predators, like lions and hyenas, and due to the lack of genetic diversity within the species. 

The cubs father, Roucky, is 3.5 years old and was transferred to La Palmyre last spring from the Wadi Al Safa Wildlife Centre in UAE. 

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Photo credit: F. Perroux/La Palmyre ZooL



2012 is also the 20th anniversary of the first cheetah birth at La Palmyre Zoo. Between 1992 and 2012, the zoo has registered more than 70 cheetah births. This success rewards the efforts of Zoo Palmyre vet Thierry Petit, who implemented a specific protocol consisting in separating females from males on a regular basis in order to stimulate heats and matings.

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Rare Sri Lankan Leopards Debut in France

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Threatened by poaching and habitat destruction, this rare subspecies of Leopard got a helping hand from the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme. Of the seventy-seven Sri Lankan Leopards in captivity, sixty-six live in Europe, including these two adorable cubs, born March 6.

This is the first litter for Leïah, La Palmyre Zoo's 4 year old Sri Lankan Leopard female. The two babies, now five weeks old, are in perfect health.

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The cubs spent their first week secluded with mom to minimize disturbances while the family bonded. Since then the babies received vet check-ups and microchips. They made their big debut this past Friday.

5 weeks oldSri Lankan Leopard cubs at five weeks old

5 weeks old BPhoto credits: © Florence Perroux/La Palmyre Zoo