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Baby Sifaka Bounces into the Bronx Zoo

Meet Ares, a brand new baby Coquerel's sifaka at the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo. Like all lemurs, Coquerel's sifaka is native only to the island of Madagascar where they are endangered due to habitat destruction. With the birth of Ares, the total population of Coquerel's sifakas in accredited zoos rises to 51.

Coquerels sifaka baby bronx zoo 1

Coquerels sifaka baby bronx zoo 2Photo credits: Julie Larsen Maher / WCS's Bronx Zoo

Bronx, N.Y. – April 5, 2010 – The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo today announced the arrival of Ares, a bouncy baby boy Coquerel’s sifaka.  Ares is the son of father Emma and mother Kate and likes to ride on his mom’s back as she leaps from tree to tree.

This is a special birth for WCS’s Bronx Zoo as there are only 51 sifaka in captivity worldwide.  This is the second baby of this species born at the zoo since the Madagascar! exhibit opened in 2008.

Agile climbers and surprisingly strong jumpers, these unique animals are a species of lemur and, like all lemurs, are found only in Madagascar.  Coquerel’s sifakas have thick white and maroon coats and can easily be identified by their yellow/orange eyes that stand out against their dark faces.

Sifakas use a spectacular mode of locomotion as compared to other lemurs.  They maintain a distinctly vertical posture and leap through the trees using just the strength of their back legs.  Their long, powerful legs can easily propel them distances of over 20 feet from tree to tree.  On the ground, they use an elegant sideways gait.

Spring is always a special time for children at WCS’s Bronx Zoo as families introduce their children to the newest zoo babies.  This is the second week in a row that a new baby animal has made its public debut at the zoo – and there are sure to be more to follow.