Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Very Rare Babies Born

Some very rare lemur babies have been born at South Lakes Wild Animal Park, Cumbria.  

Belted Black and White Ruffed Lemur Maelle gave birth to a male on 30/4.   

Critically Endangered in the wild these are very rare and very important animals, here as part of the International Breeding Programme, as far as we are aware this is one of only 2 births this year.

You can view a video of our Ruffed Lemur babies exploring for the first time or even having bath time with mum on our Youtube page, take a look!

Black and White Ruffed Lemur keepers are also celebrating with the birth of 3 babies to mums: Izzy – Male born 10/5/11;   Jane – female born 12/5/11; and  Hannah – female born 16/5/11. 

Both Belted Ruffed Lemurs and Black and White Ruffed Lemurs are extremely rare in the wild making these 4 births very special, keepers have been keeping a watchful eye on the 4 precious

babies, and confident they are now strong enough for their wild natural existence in the trees they will be let out this week to Join the Ring-tail Lemur babies already enjoying exploring and mingling with visitors.

Black & White Ruffed Lemur Facts
  • Unlike Ring tail babies who cling on to mum Young Ruffed are carried in the mother’s mouth. 
  • Ruffed Lemurs are the largest lemur to have three pairs of nipples and multiple infants.
  • Black and White Ruffed Lemurs are very rare in the wild existing only in a small area of north eastern Madagascar.

South Lakes Wild Animal Park is working to save these animals in the wild.  The project called “Antongill” is based in the Antainambalana Forest, in the north east of Madagascar, the largest remaining piece of lowland tropical rainforest on the island – covering an area of 900,000 hectares, which stretches down to a coral reef.

The forest is amongst the richest in the world and the villagers of the region live close and mix regularly with Indris, Black and White Ruffed lemurs and the white Sifaka (pictured)  (which is endemic to their region), as well as tomatoe frogs, carpet chameleons, humpback whales which breed in the bay, spinners dolphins and marine turtles which lay their eggs on the beaches.

The project works with the villagers to develop, through research education alternative farming methods which secures them a good level of life but preserves the lemur’s habitat.

Education plays a big part of the project and includes the annual lemur festival – a music festival held annually attended by hundreds of villagers.

For more information and pictures from the project out in Madagascar please follow this link

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