This Valentine’s Day we are celebrating the birthday of Eros, a female Coquerel’s sifaka, and her recent reunion with a previous mate, Bertarido. Bertarido and Eros have a history that ties them together and to the Sacramento Zoo.
Eros was born at the Sacramento Zoo on Valentine’s Day in 2006. Based on the Associate of Zoo’s and Aquariums Species Survival Plan (SSP) recommendation for Coquerel’s sifaka she moved to the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens a few years later. There she was paired Bertarido. In 2016 Eros moved back to the Sacramento Zoo. We were excited when the SSP recommendation then came through for Bertarido to move to Sacramento and be reintroduced to Eros. The two rekindled their relationship almost instantly!
In preparation for a potential sifaka infant that might come from the reunion, and to assist in the general care of the pair, the zoo’s newest Primary Primate Keeper, Andrea Haverland, visited the Duke Lemur Center in late January of 2018 for an intense 3-day training visit on all things sifaka. The Duke Lemur Center houses the most sifaka in world under their care and possess great knowledge on the husbandry of the species.
There are twelve Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited facilities that house less than 66 endangered Coquerel’s sifaka. Sifaka are native only to the island of Madagascar off the southeastern coast of Africa. Coquerel’s sifaka are among the most endangered of the sifaka species – habitat loss due to deforestation is the leading threat.
Join us in wishing Eros a happy birthday and come visit the pair at the Sacramento Zoo!