Three black-and-white ruffed lemurs born at Henry Vilas Zoo

Dane County’s Henry Vilas Zoo is excited to announce the birth of three critically endangered...
Dane County’s Henry Vilas Zoo is excited to announce the birth of three critically endangered black-and-white ruffed lemurs.(Henry Vilas Zoo)
Published: May. 12, 2023 at 4:26 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Henry Vilas Zoo is celebrating its newest bundles of joy- just in time for Mother’s Day.

Three critically endangered black-and-white ruffed lemurs, one boy and two girls, were born on April 25. The zoo noted that Momma lemur Morombe gave birth just three days after her 13th birthday.

Each infant weighed less than 100 grams, which the Zoo said equated to about the weight of a medium-sized tomato.

The Zoo explained that female lemurs will build nests high up in trees before expecting babies and there are several nest boxes on exhibit there for lemurs to use. LTE keeper Tim Pavel was cleaning the lemur habitat when he heard a noise coming from the nest and discovered the three new additions. Vet staff evaluated the infants and returned them to Morombe.

Lead Lemur Keeper Sierra Semel said they have fully “baby-proofed” the spaces to keep the lemurs safe.

“We have extra hammocks and climbing nets to help the babies navigate around their habitat and we are putting wood wool, which is similar to straw, on the ground in case they fall, which is one of the biggest dangers for young lemurs in the wild,” Semel said.

The lemur infants made their public debut on Friday and can now be viewed in the Zoo’s primate house.

The babies typically stay in the nest for about three weeks and will be moving around as well as their parents at around seven weeks. Dad lemur Tanjaka will help protect the nest with Morombe until the babies are weaned, which the Zoo said typically takes seven months.

Lemurs can have up to six babies per litter, but the Zoo noted it is more common to have triplets.

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