News

Three critically endangered lemur babies born at Irish zoo

An Irish zoo has welcomed the birth of a trio of critically endangered Black and white ruffled lemurs.

Fota Wildlife Park in Fota Island, Ireland, announced in a press release Thursday that the lemurs had been born on June 19 after a 120-day gestation.

We’re delighted to announce the birth of 3 critically endangered Black and white ruffed lemur babies to 20-year-old mother Cloud and 10-year-old father Paraic. on the 19th of June. For more – go to https://t.co/0JI1XlX79H Images thanks to @OSMPhotography pic.twitter.com/Lk0VmCo0QW— Fota Wildlife Park (@fotawildlife) July 28, 2022

The sex of the three lemurs has not yet been identified, the zoo said.

The lemur’s parents, 20-year-old mother Cloud and 10-year-old father Pasaic, are both reportedly doing well.

“We are delighted with the birth of three new Black and white ruffed lemur babies,” said Senior Ranger Cathriona Ni Scanaill. “Having ongoing success with this critically endangered species indicates how happy and healthy these primates are at Fota.”

“Cloud is a very experienced mother who takes it all in her stride,” she said, adding, “The three youngsters so far seem very confident and active.

The births come amid continuing efforts by conservationists to grow lemur populations. Fota Wildlife Park has been hosting a lemur habitat since 2019 in order to shed light on the animals’ struggles to survive.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimated in 2020 that a third of all lemur species were critically endangered, and 79 out of 81 species were in danger of potentially becoming extinct.

Native to the island of Madagascar, lemurs face significant threats from deforestation and hunting. As a result, up to 90 percent of the lemur’s habitat has been destroyed.

Lemurs are also commonly sold as part of Madagascar’s illegal wildlife trade.

The Black and white ruffled lemur, in particular, is considered one of the most endangered species of mammal, with less than 250 remaining in the wild today, according to Fota Wildlife Park.

Ruffled lemurs also serve as the largest pollinator in the world, the park said.

The animal feeds on nectar by sticking its long nose into flowers and transporting it to others, making the animal a critical part of the ecosystem.