Birth of two ring-tailed lemurs
Why not take advantage of the Easter break to visit the zoo and meet our two adorable baby ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta)?
Two females of our group housed in the monkey house have given birth to healthy babies about one month ago. Both newborns are doing well and are becoming more active as days go by.
The ring-tailed lemur is probably the most well-known lemur, made famous by the animated movie “Madagascar” and easily recognizable by its long black-and-white ringed tail. It is also the most studied and the most represented lemur in zoos with more than 2,000 individuals recorded. The Malagasy national parks have chosen it as their symbol.
The species lives in the southern part of Madagascar and its extreme flexibility allows it to colonize very different habitats, from the dry and scrubby forests of the south-west to the subalpine forests of the Andringitra massif and the rocky canyons of Isalo National Park, herein occupying a unique ecological niche.
Mating in Madagascar occurs in April/May and births take place in September/October, after a gestation period of about 4,5 months. In Europe, seasons are reversed: births occur in early spring.
Ring-tailed lemurs feed on fruits, flowers and leaves. They occasionally eat insects and small vertebrates as well.
Threatened by the destruction of their habitat (and in particular, that of gallery forests which they specially like) but also by poaching for bushmeat and the illegal pet trade, ring-tailed lemurs are now classified as endangered on the IUCN Red List. Despite the adaptability of the species, the different populations are now largely restricted to highly isolated forest patches and have an extremely low density.