Keepers at Twycross Zoo are celebrating the arrival of yet another newborn, following the birth of a crowned lemur!
The baby was born on 11th April and experienced mum, Rose, is doing a superb job.
Tony Dobbs, Section Head of Primates, said: “The baby arrived a few days earlier than we had expected but both mum and baby are doing very well. Whilst Rose is looking after the newborn, the father Rik has taken on the role of the proud, protective father.”
Infants are initially carried on the mother’s front but as they grow heavier they are moved onto her back. Lemurs are also sexually dimorphic; if the newborn turns out to be a boy, its fur will change colour at around six months of age.
Tony added: “The baby will stay close to its mother for the first few weeks, so close that we aren’t even able to tell what sex it is yet! However as it gets that little bit older and braver it will start to venture off mum and start exploring its new world.”
In the wild the crowned lemur is confined to a small patch of forest in Madagascar and listed on the IUCN Redlist of Threatened Species list as Vulnerable. Their population in the wild is decreasing because their habitat is in rapid decline; heavy mining, illegal logging and hunting for food are the principle factors.
Zoological Director, Sharon Redrobe, added: “The crowned lemur, like all the lemur species, is under threat in the wild and therefore the role of the captive population is becoming more and more important. A successful birth such as this is a huge boost to the conservation of this species.”
Twelve-year old mum, Rose, has bred successfully in the past – the new arrival has one sister at Twycross Zoo, three brothers at Belfast Zoo and two other siblings in European zoos. Roses’ latest addition will too play a vital role in the breeding programme of this threatened species.
Mum and baby are on view to the public at Twycross Zoo.