MYAKKA CITY, Fla. (WWSB) - Just in time for Mother’s Day, two lemur mothers are fostering the survival of their species by rearing four healthy newborns on the Lemur Conservation Foundation’s Myakka City reserve.
Collared brown lemur Isabelle, and her partner, Olivier, welcomed one baby, while red-ruffed lemur Zazabe and her partner, Ranomamy, had triplets. All four infants are doing well under the watchful eyes of their mothers and the Lemur Conservation Foundation staff. The triplets are female; the collared brown’s sex will be determined soon.
“We are celebrating; these births are exceptional news,” said Lemur Conservation Foundation Executive Director Deborah Robbins Millman. “Collared brown lemurs are endangered, and red ruffed lemurs are critically endangered – that’s just one step away from ceasing to exist. The Lemur Conservation Foundation works with other accredited institutions worldwide to help save these unique and essential creatures. It’s extremely important: about 98 percent of the more than 100 species of lemur are threatened with extinction.”
According to Caitlin Kenney, the Lemur Conservation Foundation’s curator of primates, this is the fourth successful collared brown lemur birth in the organization’s 25-year history and the first since 2018. She added this is the sixth red-ruffed lemur birth in 25 years and the first multiple birth since 2008.
“The mothers are getting special treats and extra nourishment, and we are keeping a close eye on them and the infants,” Kenney said. She said the families are in dedicated habitats which allow maximum safety and monitoring.
“Both first-time mothers are providing exceptional care and attention to their newborns. Red ruffed lemur dad, Ranomamy, remains wary of the new arrivals, preferring to keep his distance and let Zazabe’s mothering instincts take charge. With a trio of active infants to care for, she has her hands full,” Kenney noted.
She added that red ruffed lemur infants mature quickly and that the triplets are already moving around their enclosure semi-independently. The collared lemur is expected to continue clinging to his or her mother for another one to two months before reaching the same level of activity.
For more information, and updates on the infants, visit www.lemurreserve.org or follow the Lemur Conservation Foundation on Facebook.