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HomeBirth of Critically Endangered black and white ruffed lemurs
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Birth of Critically Endangered black and white ruffed lemurs

Categories: Animals, Lemur Babies, Video, Zoo Babies

We are excited to announce that three female black and white ruffed lemurs were born on May 23. Black and white ruffed lemurs are Critically Endangered and are native to Madagascar. The Sacramento Zoo is home to a multi-generational family group of 10, including the new additions.

The Critically Endangered black and white ruffed lemur infants weighed between 86 and 119 grams just after birth and now weigh between 238 and 274 grams at almost one-month old. The girls have been growing fast in an off-exhibit area under the care of their mother. This is the sixth litter of infants for our experienced parents Jacque and Ravenala. In the weeks leading up to her due date, zookeepers prepared for the birth by adding multiple nesting opportunities for Ravenala to choose from as well as altering the husbandry slightly to accommodate the upcoming birth.

Ruffed lemurs (both black and white and red ruffed) are the only primates that keep their young in nests instead of carrying them around on their bodies. In the wild, they would use tree cavities and crooks to nest in, but at the zoo, zookeepers provide other nesting options such as tubs and crates.

Mom and the infants will be off exhibit until the youngsters can follow their mother well and maneuver in their habitat. You may see them through the mesh door between the lemurs’ building and the exhibit as they explore. This mesh door allows the father and older siblings (still on exhibit) to get to know the new infants and to keep the family well-bonded thus making the introduction process to one family unit much easier.

Black and white ruffed lemurs are native only to the island of Madagascar off the southeastern coast of Africa. To help preserve black and white ruffed lemurs as well as other vanishing species, the Sacramento Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) black and white ruffed lemur Species Survival Plans® (SSP) to cooperatively manage this species in accredited institutions.

Watch the video to get a sneak peek at these little lemurs during their first month.