Lemur

Four Endangered Brothers Born at Jacksonville Zoo

1_brothers Lynded Nunn

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is excited about their continued baby boom. They recently announced the birth of four Black and White Ruffed Lemurs on May 19.

This is the third litter for the parents, Hawk and Potter. Their first litter was born at the Jacksonville Zoo in 2015. Keepers were anticipating the birth and had worked with Hawk to allow voluntary sonograms and weight checks.

All four lemur infants are male; a fact that keepers like as this potentially allows the group to stay longer at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. Female lemur offspring become incompatible with mom around two-years-old.

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4_Hawk - Lynde NunnPhoto Credits: JZG Senior Mammal Keeper Lynde Nunn

Hawk has again proven herself to be a calm and capable mother with excellent instincts. Black and White Ruffed Lemur mothers do not carry their offspring around. Instead, they build a nest and leave the litter there, returning to nurse. The family will be bonding behind-the-scenes for the immediate future while the infants grow.

Four infants is a lot for any mother, and keepers are encouraging Hawk to eat and drink as much as possible and are supplementing her diet with foods items that support lactation. All of the little guys are nursing well and, because Hawk has such a calm disposition and trust in her keepers, she is allowing care staff to obtain regular weights to confirm their development.

Two of Hawk’s and Potter’s older offspring, a male named Pippen and a female named Frodo, are still at the Zoo and can be seen in a different group, often mixed with other lemur species, in the beautiful African Forest exhibit.

Like all lemurs, Black and White Ruffed Lemurs are native only to the island country of Madagascar. They are classified, by the IUCN, as “Critically Endangered” in the wild due to habitat loss from deforestation. Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is a part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP), which helps manage the population in AZA accredited facilities.

“We love seeing animal babies and the joy they bring our guests,” said Zoo Executive Director Tony Vecchio, “but seeing four babies, who are so important to their species, born into our new African Forest exhibit is a great feeling for everyone at the Zoo!”


Belfast Zoo Sees Spring Baby Boom

1_Belfast Zoo has successfully bred this endangered species for many years. Visitors can see the new baby in its mountain-top habitat with stunning views across Belfast Lough.

With the start of spring, Belfast Zoo welcomed a Vicuña calf, a Red-backed Bearded Saki, and two White-belted Ruffed Lemur babies.

An adorable baby Vicuña was born on March 27 to mother, Gretchen, and her new mate, Ozzy. The zoo is now home to five Vicuña (Vicugna vicugna), which is a camelid species that originates from mountain and grassland areas of South America. The number of Vicuña living in the wild has decreased due to hunting and habitat destruction, and the species is dependent on breeding programmes to ensure population growth. Belfast Zoo has successfully bred this endangered species for many years. Visitors can see the new baby in its mountaintop habitat, with stunning views across Belfast Lough.

2_The zoo welcomed an adorable baby vicuña on 27 March to mother  Gretchen  and new male  Ozzy

3_Belfast Zoo is one of only two zoos in the UK to care for red-backed sakis  which originate from South America Photo Credits: Belfast Zoo

Zoo primates have also had recent breeding success. A Red-backed Bearded Saki (Chiropotes chiropotes) and two White-belted Ruffed Lemur (Varecia variegata subcincta) babies were born during April. Belfast Zoo is one of only two zoos in the UK to care for Red-backed Sakis, which originate from South America, and it was the first zoo in Europe to breed the species.

White-belted Ruffed Lemurs, from Madagascar, are facing a high risk of extinction in the wild due to habitat loss. Unlike other Lemur species, the baby doesn’t cling to their mother but instead is left to rest in a nearby tree or carried in its mother’s mouth.

Alyn Cairns, Zoo Manager, said, “We are absolutely thrilled with our recent baby boom at Belfast Zoo and hope our visitors will enjoy seeing our newest arrivals.”


Six Baby Lemurs Climb Into View At Chester Zoo

! The first ring-tailed lemurs born in Chester Zoo’s new Madagascar zone cling onto their mums  (22)
Five endangered Ring-tailed Lemur babies - including two sets of twins - and the zoo’s first-ever baby Black Lemur, a species which is Vulnerable to Extinction in the wild in Madagascar, are the latest arrivals at Chester Zoo.

Born between mid-January and early March, each of the babies weighed less than a tennis ball at birth.

The first baby black lemur ever born at Chester Zoo (7)
The first baby black lemur ever born at Chester Zoo (7)Photo Credit: Chester Zoo

Lemurs are born with their adult markings. But because they spend most of their time riding “piggyback” on their mothers, the care team can’t yet tell if the babies are male or female.

Wild Lemurs are found only on the island of Madagascar. As a group, Lemurs are one of the planet’s highest conservation priorities.

Madagascar has already lost up to 90% of its forests, which means that many species living in these environments are now on the brink of extinction.

Dr. Nick Davis, Deputy Curator of Mammals, said, “Madagascar is a truly inspirational place; home to incredible, unique wildlife that cannot be found anywhere else on the planet. Yet we can report first-hand that we are on the brink of losing many of these species forever. Conserving Madagascar’s lemurs is urgent and critical. That’s why any birth is important, but to have six rare baby Lemurs born within weeks of each other is great news for the breeding programme.”

Chester Zoo has been working with Madagasikara Voakajy in the country’s Mangabe New Protected Area, in a bid to save the unique animals that live there.

See more baby Lemur pics below!

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Baby Lemur Twins Are Ready For Adventure

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Twin Black and White Ruffed Lemurs born on February 19 are ready to explore their world at the United Kingdom’s Dudley Zoo.

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Photo Credit: Dudley Zoo

The babies were born to 17-year-old Olivia and her 25-year-old mate, Broom. Since birth, the twins  have been snuggled in their nest box with Olivia. But last week, one of the twins attempted a bold escape from the nest box when Olivia wasn’t looking! A nearby zoo keeper caught the escapade on camera. The babies now regularly explore their indoor habitat under mom's watchful eye. 

The birth of these twins is significant because Black and White Ruffed Lemurs are Critically Endangered according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Found only on the island of Madagascar, these Lemurs have experienced a severe decline in population in the last few decades – up to an 80% drop by some estimates. Their large size (compared to other Lemurs) makes then a prime target for poachers and hunters who are trying to feed their families.

Efforts to reintroduce captive-born Lemurs to the wild have been suspended because there is little suitable habitat left for reintroduction. Madagascar’s forests and natural areas have been drastically altered due to human activity, including slash-and-burn agriculture.  


Endangered Crowned Lemur Holds Tight to Mum

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A Crowned Lemur, born at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, was recently photographed holding tight to mum, Mabanja. The one-month-old baby will cling to its mother’s back for around four months before becoming more independent.

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4_Crowned Lemur2Photo Credits: Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) 

Crowned Lemurs (Eulemur coronatus) are native to Madagascar. Its diet consists mainly of flowers, fruits, and leaves. Females have a gray body with an orange crown, and males are a darker reddish brown, crowned with black and orange.

They typically give birth late September to early October, after a gestation period of 125 days. They have a life span of approximately 20 years.

The Crowned Lemur is a primate that is primarily diurnal but also has periods of feeding activity at night.

They are currently listed as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List due to habitat destruction for cultivation, logging and forest fires.

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Rare Little Lemur Snuggles Mom at NaturZoo Rheine

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A rare Crowned Lemur was born at NaturZoo Rheine, Germany on May 7. This is the first time this species has reproduced successfully in this zoo.

The birth took place during daytime within the habitat called “Lemur-Forest”. The exhibit is also home to Ring-tailed Lemurs and Red-bellied Lemurs. All the co-inhabitants were separated to provide the birthing female with the least disturbances as possible. Later, she moved to the indoor-room, where she stayed for a few days to ensure full bonding with her baby and to allow time to get accustomed to her new maternal role. After a week, she was successfully reunited with the male Crowned Lemur and the other species in the exhibit.

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4_i kron 9Photo Credits: NaturZoo Rheine

Crowned Lemurs (Eulemur coronatus) are listed as “Endangered” by the IUCN. In Madagascar they are threatened by habitat destruction and hunting. European Zoos are cooperating within a coordinated breeding-programme (EEP) to maintain an “insurance population” of these lemurs, which in future might provide animals for re-stocking or release in their native range.

There are currently some 80 Crowned Lemurs in European zoos. The baby born at NaturZoo Rheine will contribute to this hopefully growing population.

The sex of the newborn is still unknown, and it might take several more weeks to determine. Male and female Crowned Lemurs are sexually dichromatic, with different pelage coloration especially on the head.

According to staff at NaturZoo Rheine, it doesn’t matter if there is a ‘prince’ or a ‘princess’ in their midst: either would be considered precious like crown-jewels.

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Collared Lemur Baby Arrives for ‘Lemur Week’

1_Baby Collared Lemur with mum Anais (1)

Ten years ago, Cotswold Wildlife Park’s interactive Lemur exhibit, “Madagascar”, officially opened to the public. On the exhibit’s anniversary, the Park’s Primate team is thrilled to announce the birth of a Collared Lemur, bringing the total numbers of Lemur breeding successes to 55 since the Madagascar exhibit officially opened a decade ago. Visitors can see the tiny newborn in the exhibit it shares with a troop of 18 other free-roaming Lemurs and nine Madagascan Birds.

Females are only sexually receptive for just two or three days a year, so the window of opportunity for males to father offspring is small. After a gestation period of approximately 165 days, Lemur mum, Anais, gave birth. The baby’s father is, Varika.

Natalie Horner, Deputy Section Head of Primates, said, “On the 5th of May, we discovered that our female Collared Lemur, Anais, had given birth that very morning. Anais is an experienced mum, so did brilliantly during the delivery and was already cleaning the baby up ready for its first feed. Lemur babies only weigh around 80g when first born but are able to cling to their mum’s fur and clamber around to find the best feeding position. At the moment, the baby is spending most of the time feeding and sleeping. Apart from upping her daily diet, we don’t interfere and leave everything in mum’s capable hands – just observe from afar to make sure both mother and baby are bonding and doing well”.

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4_Collared Lemur baby with mum Anais (DR4)Photo Credits: Cotswold Wildlife Park

To highlight the plight of the world’s most endangered Lemurs, Cotswold Wildlife Park will dedicate 26th May – 3rd June 2018 to ‘Lemur Week’. Its aim is to raise awareness and funds for the Park’s conservation projects helping to save the world’s most threatened Lemurs from extinction.

As part of ‘Lemur Week’, visitors will have the chance to name the new Collared Lemur baby, as well as take part in a variety of Lemur-themed activities. Read more about the Park’s conservation projects here: https://www.cotswoldwildlifepark.co.uk/conservation/.

The Collared Lemur (Eulemur collaris) is found in rainforests in a small range in the southeastern tip of Madagascar. Like most species of Lemur, it is arboreal, and like other brown Lemurs, this species is cathemeral (active during the day and the night). They are known to feed on a variety of plant species.

The Collared Lemur is currently listed as “Endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and it is threatened primarily by habitat loss.

More great pics, below the fold!

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Newborn Lemur Saved by Zoo Vets

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Veterinarians and keepers carried out a rare procedure to save the life of a Critically Endangered newborn Lemur at Wild Place Project.

They stepped in just hours after the tiny White-belted Ruffed Lemur and his two siblings were born.  The babies’ mother, Ihosy, was not showing any interest in them. The little Lemurs, each smaller than a stick of butter, were getting cold and dehydrated.

White belted ruffed lemurs begin to suckle
White belted ruffed lemurs begin to sucklePhoto Credit: Wild Place Project

After the smallest of three died, the staff decided to take the unusual step of intervening to try to save the other two. Ihosy was given a mild anesthetic and taken with her babies to the animal care center at Wild Place Project, which is owned and run by Bristol Zoological Society.

As Ihosy slept peacefully, the team placed the two babies on her belly so they could begin feeding. One of the babies was too weak and later died, but the third pulled through and is now feeding regularly and is being cared for by Ihosy.

Zoo veterinarian Sara Shopland said, “Ihosy reared two babies last year and was a good mum so we didn’t expect this complication. This is quite a rare procedure and it’s not something we commonly do but we decided we had to act.”

Ihosy and her surviving baby are now in their nest box at Wild Place Project where vets and keepers are keeping regular checks on them.

Will Walker, animal manager at Wild Place project, said, “Ihosy is now looking after her surviving baby and all the signs are good. It was a great effort by my team and the vet team and we are so pleased that one of the triplets has survived.”

Every White-belted Ruffed Lemur is crucially important to the future of the subspecies which has undergone a population decline of 80 percent in just 21 years. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature now considers them to be at extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.

The main threats to the species in the wild are habitat loss due to slash-and-burn and commercial agriculture, logging and mining, as well as hunting for meat.

See more photos of the newborn Lemur below.

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Ring-tailed Lemur Twins Venture Outdoors

Lemur Baby with rope 2018-Carla Knapp

With the slow arrival of spring in the Midwest, visitors to the Indianapolis Zoo had to wait a few weeks before meeting two Ring-tailed Lemurs born on March 14. But the twins finally went outdoors for the first time on a warm, sunny day late last week.

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Bree wBabies outside2 2018-Carla KnappPhoto Credit: Carla Knapp/Indianapolis Zoo

The babies were born to experienced mother Bree, who is attentive and nurturing with her newborns. The one-month-old twins are growing fast, and they have already transitioned from clinging to Bree’s belly to riding on her back.  They’ve begun to explore their surroundings, but never venture far from mom.

The babies’ genders are not yet known, so they have not been named. Twins are common in this species.

Ring-tailed Lemurs are native to the island of Madagascar, where they live in social groups of a dozen or more individuals. These primates feed, huddle, and sunbathe together.

The clearing of Madagascar’s forests for pasture and agricultural land has severely affected Ring-tailed Lemurs, which rely on trees for food and shelter. Recent studies estimate that only about 2,000 Ring-tailed Lemurs remain in the wild. The species is listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

See more photos of the twin Lemurs below.

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Two Baby Lemurs Are Twice the Fun

_AT_042720151016Taronga Western Plains Zoo is proud to announce the arrival of not one, but two Ring-tailed Lemur babies!

A male baby was born on September 1 to mother Rakitra. He was joined eight weeks later on October 28 by a female, born to mother Cleopatra. Both Rakitra and Cleopatra came to the Zoo from Italy in 2012 to boost the Ring-tailed Lemur breeding program.

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Photo Credit: Rick Stevens

“It’s very exciting to welcome two healthy Ring-tailed Lemur babies this year, and particularly special to have one of each sex,” Keeper Sasha Brook said. “Both babies are being well cared for by their experienced mothers, and can be spotted riding on their mothers’ backs at the Ring-tailed Lemur breeding facility,” Sasha said.

“At three months of age, Rakitra’s male baby is already spending more time away from his mother and interacting with the two sets of twins born last year. He spends lots of time wrestling with them, and it’s great to see the twins playing gently with the baby,” Sasha said.

“At nearly five weeks of age, Cleopatra’s female baby is still developing her coordination skills, but we have noticed her also start to bounce away from her mother for short periods of time. Cleopatra is particularly relaxed around her keepers, so she doesn’t mind her baby exploring. “We’ll start to see the female baby play with others soon, including her older brother, but for now it’s very positive that she’s bonding with her mother,” Sasha said.

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