Female baby swells ranks of rare black lemurs
A RARE black lemur has been born at a zoo and is thriving under the watchful guidance of its parents.
The baby lemur is settling in at Drusillas Park, in Alfriston, East Sussex, and is thought to be female due to the species’ strong visual differences between the sexes. . Male lemurs are all black with orange eyes, while females are brown with a pale belly and white ear tufts.
A spokeswoman for the zoo said the baby will be carried around by her mother for up to six months and will be nursed for about 135 days.
Her parents, Clementine and Lotfi, were introduced in 2010 as part of the European Endangered Species Programme, arriving from zoos in Portugal and Tunisia respectively, the spokeswoman said.
The latest addition is the couple’s second baby, following the birth of Tsito at Drusillas in April 2011.
Zoo manager Sue Woodgate said: “We are delighted with the new arrival. She is very special indeed, particularly when you consider that there were only 18 black lemurs born and survived in Europe last year.”
A survey carried out by the Primate Specialist Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature concluded that lemurs are far more threatened than previously thought.
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