Conservationists at Chester Zoo become the first in Europe to successfully breed a rare Coquerel’s sifaka lemur.
The precious youngster arrived to parents Beatrice (10) and Elliot (10) – 18 months after the duo were translocated from the USA to Chester Zoo to begin a vital new conservation breeding programme, designed to protect the crtically endangered primates from extinction.
Born with a thick fuzzy white coat and weighing just 119 grams, experts say the baby will cling tightly to mum’s belly for several weeks, before riding on her back like a backpack until around six months old.
Belfast Zoo has announced a menagerie of new arrivals ahead of the Bank Holiday. The latest new-borns include critically endangered cotton top tamarin twins, an endangered crowned lemur, prairie dog pups and penguin chicks.
Kent, 26th May 2022 - Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve is celebrating the arrival of three beautiful baby white-belted ruffed lemurs, one of the world’s most endangered primates.
Born on the 19th April 2022 to mum Ikala and dad Mino, the wide-eyed youngsters, a little boy and two girls, are quite vocal, developing very fast, and are already climbing around and testing mum and dad’s patience.
Keepers at Woburn Safari Park are ecstatic to have welcomed the arrival of rare ring-tailed lemur twins to proud parents Sambava and Berenty on 25th March 2022. The birth of these two new endangered additions comes just 6 days after another two separate lemur babies were born boosting the troop to 11.
On Christmas morning, many children are excited to see what Santa has brought them. Animal care technicians at the Duke Lemur Center also received a special delivery on December 25: Camilla, a critically endangered Coquerel’s sifaka! Camilla is the first infant of the season and the second infant born to Lupicina (Lupi) and Elagabalus (https://www.heraldsun.com/news/local/counties/durham-county/article203817224.html) (Gabe). This family group also includes older brother Felix.
In the Northern Hemisphere, Coquerel’s sifakas are typically born between December and March. Camilla’s birth on December 25 marked the start of Duke Lemur Center’s 2022 birth season. It’s a distinction that runs in the family: Felix, born on December 21, 2021, was the first infant last birth season; and Gabe, born on December 23, 2017, was the first infant of 11 births (https://lemur.duke.edu/2018-infants/) at the Center in the 2017-18 birth season.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s eight Ring-tailed Lemur babies are now approximately two months of age and becoming very active as they continue to grow and develop.
The babies have started trying solid foods and are becoming very playful. They can often be spotted jumping from one climbing structure to another or playing in the trees together on their island home.
“The babies are starting to eat branches and leaves as well as trying vegetable pieces more and more now. They are still suckling from their mums which is to be expected as most of their nutrition is coming from their mother’s milk,” said Primate keeper, Sasha Brook.
Keepers are delighted to announce the safe arrival of eight Ring-tailed Lemur babies to eight different mothers in the breeding group at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo.
The new babies are made up of five males and three females and are yet to be named.
“This is the most successful breeding season for our Ring-tailed Lemur breeding group to date,” said Keeper Sasha Brook.
“We have five first-time mothers and three experienced mothers. They are all doing a great job caring for their babies. It’s not uncommon for keepers to see one mother grooming another mother’s baby throughout the day.”
These babies are also the first offspring for new male, Skynard who arrived at Taronga Western Plains Zoo last year. Skynard originated from a Zoo overseas therefore his genetics are incredibly important to the regional breeding program in Australasia.
“These babies are the second generation to be born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo and it is truly wonderful to see some of the first offspring born here now become mothers themselves.”
“At the moment the infants are clinging to their mum’s bellies and suckling milk but in the coming month they will start to be more active and begin riding on their mother’s backs more and more,” said Sasha.
Ring-tailed Lemurs only have a very small window to fall pregnant. They generally come into season for 24-48 hours once a year, so if there isn’t a successful mating during this period it is a long wait until the following year.
The Ring-tailed Lemur breeding season is generally in March-May, so births are usually expected in early spring following a four-month gestation period.
“The babies are currently a little difficult to see as they are small and clinging to their mum’s tummy but are most active in the mid-morning and mid-afternoon on the island if the weather is warm.”
Taronga Western Plains Zoo is home to two groups of Ring-tailed Lemurs, a breeding group near the Savannah picnic ground and a bachelor group at the Savannah Lake. The breeding group now has 17 individuals including the most recent babies, whilst the bachelor group has four individuals.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo will reopen on Monday 18 October 2021. For more information about the Zoo or to purchase tickets visit www.taronga.org.au/dubbo.
Northern Ireland’s Belfast Zoo has welcomed several newborns lately including an endangered crowned lemur.
Zoo Manager Alyn Cairns said, “The birth of every species at the zoo here is a joy, but the birth of an endangered species is always extra special. Lemur mothers keep their babies close to their body so we had to wait for a few weeks to go by before we could confirm that the latest arrival is a boy.”
Crowned lemurs are listed as endangered due to habitat loss, mining and logging. They are also hunted for food and the pet trade.
Crowned lemurs originate from the forests of northern Madagascar and get their names from the ‘crown’ marking above their eye line. Females are primarily grey with orange crowns and males are a darker red-brown with black and orange crowns.
Conservationists at Chester Zoo are celebrating the birth of a rare red-bellied lemur - the first of its kind ever to be born at the zoo.
The fluffy youngster, whose sex is currently unknown, arrived to parents Aina (4) and Frej (8) following a 127-day pregnancy.
The new baby was born around six weeks ago but keepers say the precious primate was so small and hidden in among mum’s thick fur that only now is it starting to become more visible. It was estimated to weigh just 70 grams at birth - around the same weight as a banana.
The birth is an important boost to the European breeding programme for the species with the red-bellied lemur listed as vulnerable to extinction in its native Madagascar – the only place where lemurs are found in the wild.
Experts say destruction of their forest homes, caused by people for agriculture and timber, as well as hunting for their meat has resulted in huge declines for all of the island’s 100 different species of lemur.
Claire Parry, Assistant Team Manager of Primates at Chester Zoo, said:
“The birth of any lemur is real cause for celebration as these primates are vulnerable to extinction in the wild and every new arrival is a vital addition to the endangered species breeding programme. This one, however, is extra special as it’s also the first baby red-bellied lemur ever to be born at Chester Zoo.
“Aina is a first-time mum who’s really taking motherhood in her stride - she’s very confident with her new addition. The baby is always seen clinging on tightly to her, which is exactly what we want to see, and this lovely little lemur looks incredibly content hidden in among mum’s warm fur.”
Mike Jordan, Director of Animal and Plants at the zoo, added:
“With lemurs considered as being the most endangered group of mammals in the world by the IUCN, every birth is significant. Lemurs are endemic to Madagascar where they are severely under threat with over 94% of all lemur populations at risk of disappearing forever. Sadly, we know that many larger lemur species have already become extinct.
“We need to ensure the species that do now remain on this diverse island are safe and protected. That’s why our conservationists have been engaged in protecting habitats and the unique species they are home to in Madagascar for over 10 years now. In 2015, the Malagasy government established The Mangabe New Protected Area, co-managed by our field partner Madagasikara Voakajy and the communities that live in Mangabe itself, providing a safe haven for nine species of lemur, as well as lots of other threatened species. We are fully involved in efforts to prevent their extinction.”