Story By: Georgina Jadikovska, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
New black-and-white ruffed lemur offspring that were born in a German zoo in mid-April have received their first visitors in the outdoor enclosure.
Two black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata) babies endemic to the African island of Madagascar were born for the third time in the Heidelberg zoo in Germany in April.
The zoo reported that the newborn babies are developing nicely and are well-taken care of by their parents, but have also caught their older siblings’ attention.
Animal live area district manager Norman Hanel said: “We are very proud of our now not so small ruffed lemur family. The two young ones live together with their two parents and three other siblings with us at Heidelberg Zoo.”
Hanel explained that the baby lemurs are making their first attempts at climbing and added: “They want to do everything that adults do, so they gradually discover every corner of their enclosure. This discovery also includes making several darling climbing manoeuvres.”
The district manager explained that lemurs are naturally skilled climbers and maintain their balance through support with their long tails.
According to the manager at a younger age, these lemurs can easily camouflage themselves between dense bamboo leaves due to their gray and black fur, which turns black and white when they reach maturity.
They are ready to live without their parents’ support when they reach 18 months of age.
Hanel said: “The time has come for the two oldest offspring to leave Heidelberg. They are now almost adults and have learnt a lot from their parents, for example how to successfully raise a newborn. We will move them as soon as we find a place for them in accordance with the breeding program.”
In addition, the black-and-white ruffed lemur is one of two species in the genus Varecia, the other being the red ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra).
Both of the lemur species are considered critically endangered and are placed on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of Threatened Species.
The Heidelberg Zoo has been committed to their protection through collaborations with various institutions including The Lemur Conservation Association (AEECL), which is a zoo managed conservation organisation based in Sahamalaza-Iles Radama National Park in Madagascar.