Baby Ruffed Lemurs
Posted On Monday, May 16, 2011
Utah’s Hogle Zoo is very happy to announce the birth of a pair of Black and White Ruffed Lemurs (Varecia varecia variegata). The mother is 5 years old and the father is 27 year old. This is the first birth for this mother, who came to Hogle Zoo from Tulsa Zoo. This is the first birth of Black and White Ruffed Lemurs at Hogle Zoo since 1991. The infants, a male and a female, were born on May 3, 2011 and weighed in at 121 and 111 grams (about 4 ounces) respectively. The mother built a large nest within a nest box with willow branches that were provided to her by the zoo keepers. The mother is exhibiting excellent maternal behavior and kept them in their nest box exclusively for the first week. Black and white ruffed lemurs are unique among primate species as they utilize a nest for infants rather than carrying the infants. The infants are born with their eyes open and fully furred. The infants started to emerge from their nest box on their own after only eight days. The infants have now tripled their birth weight. They can be viewed most of the day exploring their exhibit and interacting with their mother at the Primate Building. The infants will grow quickly and should reach adult size by six months. Black and white ruffed lemurs are considered critically endangered in the wild and are facing extinction due to habitat loss and hunting. They have a limited range in the eastern rainforests of Madagascar. They are managed cooperatively amongst AZA zoos by the Ruffed Lemur Species Survival Plan (SSP). The Ruffed Lemur SSP utilizes various computer software to make recommendations to zoos to manage the lemurs both genetically and demographically. Hogle Zoo has also been a long time supporter of the Madagascar Fauna Group that works to study and protect lemurs in Madagascar. Lemurs belong to the primate family called Prosimians and are considered the most primitive primate species. They possess many physical and behavioral elements that are different than all other primates. As you visit Hogle Zoo to see the dinosaurs of Zoorassic Park, check out our primitive primate infants.
Learn more about our Black & White Ruffed Lemurs.