The Ring-tailed Lemur habitat at Zoo Vienna Schönbrunn just got a lot livelier with the birth of twins on March 18.
Mom has her hands full nursing her two tiny babies, but she is doing well and gets extra help from other females in the group. Twins are not uncommon in Ring-tailed Lemurs.
For the first few days of life, the babies spent most of their time nursing or sleeping as they clung to mom’s belly. Newborn Lemurs are born with the ability to grip mom’s fur tightly so they can hang on as she climbs through the trees. After a few weeks, the babies will climb onto mom’s back and start to view their surroundings. By one month of age, the babies will start to nibble on fruits and vegetables.
Ring-tailed Lemurs are one of about 100 species of Lemurs, all of which are found only on the African island of Madagascar. More than two thirds of the species are Endangered or Critically Endangered according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
A dramatic loss of forest habitat in Madagascar is blamed for the rapid decline in Lemur numbers. More than 90% of Madagascar’s original forest cover has been lost, mainly due to the demand for lumber, firewood, and charcoal by a growing human population.