Fota Wildlife Park announces birth of two endangered lemurs

Fota Wildlife Park announces birth of two endangered lemurs

Fota Wildlife Park has announced the birth of two black and white ruffed lemur babies. Picture: Darragh Kane

Fota Wildlife Park has announced the birth of two black and white ruffed lemur babies. 

The baby lemurs were born to mother Cloud who is 18 years old and father Paraic, an eight-year-old who was also born in Fota Wildlife Park.

The two babies were born on June 6 after a gestation period of 102 days. 

The new arrivals also share their island habitat on the main lake at Fota with their older twin brothers Nimbus and Cumulus who were born on May 5 last year. 

The black and white ruffled lemur (Varecia variegata) is native to the tropical forests of Eastern Madagascar and has been classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to hunting and habitat loss and fragmentation. 

The baby lemurs were born to mother Cloud who is 18 years old and father Paraic, an eight-year-old who was also born in Fota Wildlife Park. Picture: Darragh Kane
The baby lemurs were born to mother Cloud who is 18 years old and father Paraic, an eight-year-old who was also born in Fota Wildlife Park. Picture: Darragh Kane

There are fewer than 250 black and white ruffed lemurs remaining in the wild today.

Commenting on the new arrivals, Lead Ranger Teresa Power said the lemur babies are settling in nicely. 

"We are delighted to announce two new black and white ruffed lemur babies, and they seem to get on great with their twin brothers who love playing with them," she said. 

"At first Cloud was very protective of the new babies, moving them from one nesting area to another as she would do in the wild but in recent weeks they are getting much more active and are beginning to climb trees and jump about by themselves, in fact when the Rangers go across the lake to their island to feed them twice a day, the babies are sometimes discovered sitting in their food dishes which is really cute. 

The black and white ruffled lemur (Varecia variegata) is native to the tropical forests of Eastern Madagascar and has been classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to hunting and habitat loss and fragmentation. Picture: Darragh Kane
The black and white ruffled lemur (Varecia variegata) is native to the tropical forests of Eastern Madagascar and has been classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to hunting and habitat loss and fragmentation. Picture: Darragh Kane

"We have also noticed that dad Paraic has been helping Cloud with babysitting duties, standing guard over the twins while she gets something to eat giving her a well-earned break. 

"We won’t know for a while yet whether the babies are male or female," Ms Power continued. 

The Primate Islands and the Palm Walk at Fota has recently undergone a regeneration.

This area now comprises of The Madagascan Village, officially opened last December, which includes a courtyard surrounded by open-windowed houses with red-bellied lemurs, black and white lemurs and a new group of ring-tailed lemurs which will be shortly be introduced to the current free-roaming group of ring-tailed lemurs.

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