A lively trio of Prevost’s Squirrels has emerged from their nest at Chester Zoo. It is the first time the colorful climbers, which are native to the forests of South East Asia, have been born at the U.K. zoo.
The three youngsters arrived to mum André and dad Pierre following a 48-day gestation. Dave White, team manager, reported last week, “The new triplets are 11 weeks old but have only recently started to leave their nest. Prevost’s squirrel parents are very protective of their new kittens and will carefully guard them for the first month of their lives before encouraging them to start venturing out.
“The youngsters have already developed striking, colorful coats and are gaining more and more confidence by the day. They’re the first Prevost’s Squirrels to ever be born here and it’s great to see them doing well, climbing and leaping between branches under the watchful eyes of mum and dad.”
Prevost’s Squirrels (Callosciurus prevostii), which are also known as the Asian Tri-colored Squirrel, have thick fur, which is black from the nose to tail and red on the belly and legs, separated by a white stripe.
They occur across the mainland and islands of South East Asia, with the squirrels from each area having subtly different markings. More research may even show that these represent many different isolated species.
The squirrels are vital to the survival of the forests in which they live, redistributing seeds from the fruit that they eat, giving rise to new generations of plants.