Birth of a rare blue-eyed lemur
On April 9 our female blue-eyed lemur (Eulemur flavifrons) gave birth to a young which was transferred to the zoo nursery because of its low weight. Since there are only about thirty individuals in the blue-eyed lemur EEP, each birth is of crucial importance. Thus everything is done to ensure a successful rearing of the young if there is any doubt as to his health or the rearing capacities of its mother.
For the past month, the nursery team has been taking care of the newborn. They feed it with milk every two hours from 8am to 9pm. The small female, named Ikopa, is also being given fruits (apple, pear, kiwi) and vegetables (salad, cucumber) since 2 weeks of age. Her parents and her older brother (born in 2015) have been transferred to an adjacent cage in order to maintain visual and sound contact between all the individuals. This will help reintroducing the young with its conspecifics once weaning is completed. As for the keepers, they are in contact with the baby only for feeding her or when the incubator is to be cleaned, impregnation being the worst enemy of the animals raised at the nursery.
Active during day and night, the blue-eyed lemur lives in multimale/multifemale groups of up to a dozen individuals. It feeds mainly on fruits and leaves. Like many other lemur species, females are dominant over males.
Victim of habitat fragmentation and poaching, it is classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. The AEECL, supported by La Palmyre Zoo since 2002, has been developing a conservation program in the home range of the species in Sahamalaza (northwestern Madagascar), where eco-guards protect the forest from fires and illegal incursions, the area being recognized as a national park since 2007. The AEECL also supports the education of children and the sustainable development of communities.