Birth of 2 red-ruffed lemurs
Our pair of red-ruffed lemurs (Varecia rubra) formed in April 2003 proved again to be very successful as the female gave birth to twins on April 22nd.
Unlike last year however, the mother removed her babies out of the nest much earlier (ruffed lemurs are indeed the only diurnal primates to build a nest exclusively for the birth and the first couple of weeks of infant rearing). The staff immediately noticed that one of the baby was significantly smaller. In order to monitor the evolution of the two babies including weight gain of the smallest one, the vet asked to the keeper to perform daily weighing of the twins.
Today aged a little over a month, the two babies are doing well and have started to eat fruits and vegetables given to their parents and their two older brothers born last year.
They are very dynamic and the general condition of the smallest baby is quite satisfactory according to our vet who believes that he is developing harmoniously despite his weight shortfall.
The red-ruffed lemur, who lives exclusively in the tropical forests of north-eastern Madagascar, is a critically endangered lemur according the IUCN Red List. The European Breeding Program of the species manages nearly 350 individuals held by over a hundred institutions. The important size of this population and the presence of surplus allow to consider wild population reinforcement and reintroduction programs in Madagascar. That's why the red-ruffed lemur EEP currently works to create a captive breeding program in Madagascar starting from the European population, with a view to reintroducing individuals from this Malagasy captive population into the wild.