Lemur

King Julien Announces Birth of Royal Twins

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The world’s critically endangered Lemur population recently expanded by two! Twin Ring-Tailed Lemurs were born at the Duke Lemur Center, and both were named Princess Julien, after Madagascar’s most famous royal Lemur, King Julien. 

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Photo Credits: Duke Lemur Center

Princess Julien and her sister, Princess Julien, were born on May 4, but their birth was not announced until June 3, following a month of careful monitoring. The announcement was jointly made by Duke Lemur Center and by King Julien XIII, star of the Netflix original series, “All Hail King Julien” (DreamWorks Animation).

In an upset worthy of the tabloids, King Julien was shocked by the news that his heir apparent was not a boy (as he had anticipated following a prediction by his psychic adviser, Masikura the chameleon) and that his royal lineage would be secured with the birth of two females. Nonetheless, Julien was elated and decreed that both infant Lemurs would be named “Princess Julien”.

“I can’t believe they’re making more of me! This is so awesome!” said King Julien, speaking from his royal throne, atop the Baobab Tree, in Madagascar. “My first royal duty will be to teach Princess Julien and Princess Julien how to shake their booties and party in the most regal of ways.”

At birth, the first Princess Julien weighed 59 grams, while the second Princess Julien weighed 48 grams. Both girls were approximately 4 inches long.

Following a thorough check-up by researchers at the Duke Lemur Center, both females were healthy and clinging tightly to their mother, Sophia. Father Randy and grandmother, Cloris, have all been united as a family and are looking forward to meeting their namesake King Julien XIII.

“Male or female, every Lemur baby born is incredibly important,” said Janice Kalin, of the Duke Lemur Center, world’s largest Lemur research facility. “Lemurs have recently been classified as the world’s most threatened mammal group. Every time we can add one, two, or more to their ranks, it helps to stabilize the genetic diversity of these fascinating primates.”

Fans of King Julien can get regular updates about the growth and development of Princess Julien and Princess Julien by visiting the King Julien Facebook page at www.facebook.com/KingJulien or the Duke Lemur Center Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DukeLemurCenter.

An official naming ceremony for Princess Julien and Princess Julien will be held at the Duke Lemur Center on June 20, which will be presided over by the star of “All Hail King Julien”. This will be the first opportunity for the public to meet the Princesses and King Julien himself. For more information visit http://lemur.duke.edu/lemurpalooza-summer-2015/

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Newborn Lemur Looks like Grandpa

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It has been just a few months since the famous lemur, known as ‘Zoboomafoo’, passed away at the age of 20, and fans of the popular television show mourned the loss. Duke Lemur Center, home to Zoboomafoo, is excited to share the encouraging news of the birth of his fifth grandchild! 

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Photo Credits: Duke Lemur Center

Zoboomafoo’s real name was ‘Jovian’, and his legacy lives on in seven surviving offspring and five grandchildren.  Jovian’s television legacy continues, as well.  The PBS children's show “Zoboomafoo”, aired from 1999 to 2001 and continues to entertain children in syndication.

Newborn granddaughter, ‘Isabella’ is a Coquerel’s Sifaka. She was born to Jovian’s oldest son, ‘Charlemagne’, and his mate, ‘Pompeia’, at the Duke Lemur Center on Jan. 25, 2015.  Weighing a healthy 3.8 ounces (110 grams) at birth, the baby and mom received a clean bill of health from veterinarians.

Though she is Jovian's fifth grandchild, Isabella is the first to be born at the Lemur Center.

Lemur Center veterinarian, Dr. Cathy Williams, said, “Successful births like Isabella really embody what we try to do here at the Lemur Center, which is to breed these animals that are extremely endangered in the wild, to learn about them, to give them a good existence and to try to prevent them from going extinct.”

As Isabella’s due date approached in January, lemur keepers checked mother, Pompeia, every morning for a new baby. In the early hours of January 25th, keepers discovered Pompeia sitting high up in her suite, with the baby clinging tightly to her tummy.

Lemur keepers and veterinarians kept a close watch on the newborn for signs of illness. They observed Isabella clinging tightly to mother’s abdomen and nursing, and she continues to gain weight -- all signals that the baby is healthy and mom is providing good care.

After a week to allow mom and baby to bond, dad Charlemagne (‘Charlie’ to his keepers), was slowly introduced to the infant. Within a few days Pompeia was letting the new dad groom and lick the infant. The family now spends all day together, while keepers observe the family’s interactions.

“Charlie put his head down close to the baby and started to ‘sing’ to the baby,” said keeper supervisor, Britt Keith.  Coquerel’s Sifakas use quiet, soft vocalizations, similar to a low “coo”, as they greet one another and touch noses. “He’s going to be a great father, just like his father [Jovian] was.”

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First Sifaka of the Year for Duke Lemur Center

__dlc-ayeaye.win.duke.edu_lemur-center_home_dharing_Animal Photos 4-05_animal photographs_coquerel's sifakas_2015 infants__ pc 7199_DSC2776EDThe Duke Lemur Center announces their first birth of 2015. Lupicina, a female Coquerel’s Sifaka, was born on January 8.

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__dlc-ayeaye.win.duke.edu_lemur-center_home_dharing_Animal Photos 4-05_animal photographs_coquerel's sifakas_2015 infants__ pc 7199 6985_DSC2962Photo Credit David Haring/Duke Lemur Center

Lupicina’s parents are female Euphemia and male Lucius Verus.  She weighed less than a quarter-pound at birth (about 103 g) and is doing well under Euphemia’s care.  Lucius Verus and the baby’s uncle Thrax are gradually being introduced to mom and baby.

Found only in Madagascar, Coquerel’s Sifakas are a type of Lemur.  They are most well known for their unusual method of locomotion called vertical clinging and leaping.  While in a vertical posture, they leap up to 20 feet through the trees using only the power of their back legs, not their arms.  On the ground, they hop sideways on their back feet while standing erect.

Sifakas are named for their distinctive “shif-auk” call they make while moving through the treetops.  In the forest, they feed on young leaves, fruit, tree bark, and flowers, and have been recorded foraging on 98 different plant species.

Highly social, Sifakas live in groups of three to 10 animals.  The Sifaka colony at the Duke Lemur Center has produced more young than any other colony in the world.  About half of the Center’s 60 Sifiakas live at zoos around the United States. In Madagascar, Sifaka populations have declined by half in the last 50 years, primarily due to habitat destruction and hunting pressures.  They are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.


Jovian, Star of Zoboomafoo, Passes at Duke Lemur Center

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On Monday, November 10, 2014, ‘Jovian’, an endangered Coquerel’s Sifaka Lemur and star of the popular children’s show “Zoboomafoo”, passed away. Today we are sharing pictures of Jovian from 1994, when he was a new zoo baby!

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Jovian_1994_DukeLemurCenter_3Photo Credits: Duke Lemur Center

Jovian was famous as "Zoboomafoo" the leaping, prancing otherworldly star of the PBS KIDS show by the same name, hosted by brothers Martin and Chris Kratt. He was a graceful, long-limbed co-star with cream and russet fur and bright, intelligent yellow eyes and he taught millions of children what a Lemur is. The show aired 65 episodes in just over two years, 1999-2001, and continues in syndication.

Brothers, Martin and Chris, created the show to teach children about wildlife. They chose a talking Lemur puppet as their co-host, but they also wanted to use footage of a real Lemur in the show, as well. Duke Lemur Center, at Duke University, where Martin Kratt graduated with a zoology degree, was contacted and Jovian became a star.

Jovian was living at the Duke Lemur Center, when he passed away from kidney failure at the age of twenty. He leaves behind seven children, four grandchildren, and two more grandchildren on the way.

Duke Lemur Center is encouraging fans of Jovian to share their memories on the centers facebook page: http://facebook.com/dukelemurcenter


Spunky Little Lemur Arrives in Fort Wayne

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A spunky Ring-Tailed Lemur born on September 22 is growing up fast at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.  The female baby is named Madi, which is short for Madagascar, the home of Ring-Tailed Lemurs in the wild.

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FWZ_0400editedPhoto Credit:  Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

Madi was born to first-time parents Kyna and Ombe.  Their breeding was recommended by the Species Survival Plan, a program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums that seeks to maintain genetic diversity in zoo-dwelling populations of endangered animals.

Female Ring-tailed Lemurs are pregnant for four to five months.  Baby Lemurs are born with lots of hair and with eyes wide open. At first, babies cling to their mothers’ chests, but later ride on their backs. At about six months of age, the young are independent.

Lemurs live nowhere else in the world except Madagascar.  Unfortunately, less than 10% of Madagascar’s forest cover remains and due to this drastic loss of habitat, Ring-tailed Lemurs are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.


World's Rarest Lemurs Born at Bristol Zoo

10649865_10152342182161872_823240378907969850_nBristol Zoo Gardens in the United Kingdom is pleased to announce that Alaotran Gentle Lemurs Mr. and Mrs. Grey are now proud parents to a set of twins.  Gentle Lemurs are the most Critically Endangered species of Lemur in the world.

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10548316_10152342182166872_2497806362175922485_oPhoto Credit: Bob Picthford

Born in mid-July, the six-week-old babies weigh just 5 ounces (150g).  Keepers report that the twins are doing very well and are already confident climbers and jumpers.

Mr. and Mrs. Grey were first introduced to each other in the winter of 2012 at Bristol Zoo and have been inseparable ever since.  The twins are their first offspring.

Lynsey Bugg, Assistant Curator of Mammals, said, “It was love at first sight for these two young Lemurs and we could not be happier with the new arrival of their little ones. Mrs. Grey is a new mum and is doing a fantastic job with her new-borns. Mr. Grey is an attentive parent and particularly protective over his family.”

The new family is extremely important to the survival of this species, because only about 5,000 remain in the wild in Madagascar.  Because Gentle Lemurs live in only one small area on the island, they are particularly susceptible to the risks caused by habitat loss and hunting. 

Bristol Zoo has been part of the breeding program for Alaotran Gentle Lemurs since 1990. 


Wide-eyed Newborn Gentle Lemur Makes Debut at Chester Zoo

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An endangered species of lemur has become the first of its kind to be born at Chester Zoo. The new youngster – an Alaotran Gentle Lemur - arrived to mum Molly and dad Fady.

Keepers have kept a close eye on the new family during the baby’s important first few weeks, although staff are still uncertain about the one-month-old’s sex.

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Curator of mammals, Tim Rowlands, said: “Both mum and dad are doing a great job of bringing up their new charge. Mum is super protective and dad is also pulling his weight – he occasionally helps to do some of the carrying. “This is a critically endangered species. They face a very real threat of extinction in the wild and this is the first time the species has ever bred at Chester Zoo.”

In the wild the Alaotran Gentle Lemur is only found around Lake Alaotra in Madagascar. The species is being threatened by habitat destruction as the reed beds where it lives are being burned and the lake drained for rice irrigation. They are also caught for food and others are captured and sold as pets who rarely survive, meaning they are classed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). It is believed that just 2,500 remain in the wild.


Baby Mongoose Lemur Holds On Tight

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In April, Kikeli, a Critically Endangered Mongoose lemur, gave birth to the first infant of 2014 at Lemur Conservation Foundation in Florida. Kikeli's new infant is starting to climb around on mom a lot, and is reaching out to one-year-old brother, Silvio, and dad Felix.

Silvio and Felix are both very interested in the new addition to their family group, and have groomed the infant while it holds onto its mother. With such a young infant, Kikeli is being a good, protective mother and only allows the males brief contact with the baby.

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4 lemurPhoto credit: Caitlin Kenney / Lemur Conservation Foundation

Between 2008 and 2012, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) increased the conservation status for Mongoose lemurs from Vulnerable to Critically Endangered. The IUCN and the Species Survival Commission organized the Lemur Red-Listing and Conservation Planning Workshop in July of 2012. Participants met to review the status of all 103 known species of lemurs, concluding that lemurs are among the most endangered species in the world. In 2013, all 3 Mongoose lemur infants born in the United States were born to mothers at Lemur Conservation Foundation.


Three Little Lemurs at Woburn Safari Park

Koko 1Two Ring-tailed Lemurs at the United Kingdom’s Woburn Safari Park gave birth to three babies in March!

Both Koko, who delivered a single baby, and Krinidy, who gave birth to twins, are first-time mothers.  All three babies are fathered by male Lemur Berenti.  Until the babies are about two months old, they’ll cling tightly to their mothers.  They’ll then begin climbing and leaping with abandon, as all little Lemurs do.  At that time, keepers will observe the babies and determine their genders.

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Kirindy (poking baby in eye!)
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BothPhoto Credit: Woburn Safari Park

The Ring-tailed Lemurs live in a walk-through enclosure at Woburn Safari Park, so visitors should be able to get close-up views of the babies.  The Lemurs often sun themselves on the paths, spreading their arms and legs to soak up the warmth on cool mornings.

Ring-tailed Lemurs are primates, native only to the island of Madagascar.  Due to habitat loss, these and other Lemurs are listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.  Ring-tailed Lemurs inhabit forests and scrublands, where they travel in large groups of up to 30 individuals.  They are one of the most vocal of all primates, emitting clicks, moans, and wails.  They purr when content.


Lemur Twins are Twice the Fun

Ring tailed lemur mum Hasina with one of her babies at LongleatA rescued Ring-tailed Lemur gave birth to twins at Great Britain’s Longleat Safari & Adventure Park.

The twins, who were born on March 25 and have yet to be named, have already enjoyed a classic Lemur pastime – sunbathing!

Ring tailed lemur mum Hasina with her twins at Longleat
Baby ring tailed lemur at Longleat
Ring tailed lemur mum Hasina with her twins at Longleat twoPhoto Credit:  Longleat Safari & Adventure Park

Mom Hasina and dad Julien were rescued as youngsters from unsuitable living conditions and given a new home at the park, where they have thrived.

Keeper Beverley Evans said: “Hasina is a very laid back mum and this is her third pregnancy. She seems to have taken the whole birth very much in her stride and is an extremely attentive mother.”

In the mornings the Ring-tailed Lemurs sunbathe to warm themselves. They face the sun sitting in what is frequently described as a "sun-worshipping" posture or lotus position.

Sunning is often a group activity, particularly during the cold mornings. At night, troops will split into sleeping parties huddling closely together to keep warm.

Ring-tailed Lemurs are found only on the island of Madagascar, where populations are in decline due to habitat loss.