Zoo Ostrava welcomed a female Mongoose Lemur baby on April 5.
The six-month-old is not only the first of her kind born at the Zoo; she is also the first-born in any Czech or Slovakian facility. The total population of this lemur species in European zoos is less than 50 individuals, with about 30 males and 18 females. Over the last five years, only four young Mongoose Lemurs have been raised in European zoos.
The Mongoose Lemur (Eulemur mongoz) is a small primate in the Lemuridae family and is native to Madagascar and the Comoros Islands.
These arboreal animals have pointed faces, long bushy tails, dark brown upper parts, pale bellies and a beard, which is reddish in males and white in females. They live in family groups and feed primarily on fruits, leaves, flowers and nectar.
The Mongoose Lemur has declined sharply in numbers because of habitat destruction and hunting. They are currently classified as “Critically Endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Zoo Ostrava and dozens of other European facilities are not only endeavoring to save the lemurs and other endangered animals by creating viable reserve populations in human care; they are also helping directly in Madagascar. Since 2005, Zoo Ostrava has been a member of the AEECL (The Lemur Conservation Association), a non-governmental organization that runs conservation and research activities in Madagascar and helps save endemic species of animals and plants that are not found anywhere else in the world.