Primate

Rare Lemur Born at San Diego Zoo

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On May 18, 2016, a male Red Ruffed Lemur was born at the San Diego Zoo’s behind-the-scenes Primate Propagation Center. It has been 13 years since the last Red Ruffed Lemur was born at the zoo, and excitement is in the air.

The San Diego Zoo has a successful history of breeding Red Ruffed Lemurs; in fact, more than 100 born have been born here since 1965. That success is attributed to the zoo’s Primate Propagation Center, a facility specifically designed for breeding Lemurs.

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Photo Credit:  San Diego Zoo

"Red Ruffed Lemur Morticia is a first-time mom, but she has proven to be a great mother,” said Kristen Watkins, a primate keeper at the San Diego Zoo. For the first week after the birth, it was important for keepers to get daily weights on the infant, to make sure he was gaining weight. A rising weight indicates that the baby is successfully nursing and that mom is taking good care of him. Morticia is willing to let keepers borrow her infant in exchange for some of her favorite fruits, but she is eager to get him back, Watkins said. The infant has been gaining about one-third of an ounce (10 grams) a day and is getting more active and aware of his surroundings. Although he currently weighs only 6.6 ounces (188 grams), Red Ruffed Lemur babies grow up fast. During his first month, keepers expect him to be exploring outside of his nest, with Morticia watching closely.

This rare species is included in Primates in Peril: The World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates, published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature SSC Primate Specialist Group, and every birth of a Red Ruffed Lemur is a critically important one. They are only found in one region in the entire world: the Masoala Peninsula in Madagascar, which is undergoing deforestation.

San Diego Zoo Global leads on-site wildlife conservation efforts at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, as well as international field programs on six continents.


Baby Macaque Gets Lots of Attention

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A baby Sulawesi Crested Macaque at the Chester Zoo is getting a lot of attention – from the other 15 members of the zoo’s Macaque troop, and from conservationists concerned with protecting this critically endangered species.

Born on May 29, the little Monkey clings to its mother Camilla as other Macaques gather around with intense interest in the baby.  So far, Camilla is proving to be a good mother, even though this baby is her first.

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A five-day-old Sulawesi crested macaque clings to first-time mum Camilla at Chester Zoo (5)Photo Credit:  Chester Zoo
 
Found only on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, roughly 5,000 Sulawesi Crested Macaques remain in the island’s rain forests.  Despite its threatened status, this species is still hunted regularly as a pest because it destroys crops in search of food.  They are also hunted as bushmeat.  Large-scale destruction of forests has dramatically reduced available habitat for these fruit- and leaf-eating Macaques.

Sulawesi Crested Macaques also live on some smaller, less-populated islands near Sulawesi, where they enjoy less pressure from humans.  Six other macaque species live on Sulawesi, but this species is the most critically endangered.

This new baby is an important addition to European zoos' breeding program to preserve genetic diversity in endangered species. 

See more photos of the baby Macaque below.

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Lion-tailed Macaque Siblings Are Thick As Thieves at NaturZoo Rheine

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It's always so good to see siblings getting along! 

2014 was a good year for NaturZoo Rheine in Germany: last year a total of three Lion-tailed Macaques, an Endangered species, were born at the zoo. 

The two most recent are half-siblings, born on November 10 and December 14. Both mothers, one of which is a first-time mom, have been taking good care of their babies, and now the two half-sibs are starting to get to know each other.

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3 macaquePhoto credit: NaturZoo Rheine

Adult Lion-tailed Macaques, both males and females, have gray 'beards' surrounding their faces. Newborns, lacking these beards, are born with pale rosy faces which develop from gray to black. Their beards begin to sprout at about one month old. 

There are 24 Lion-tailed Macaques at NaturZoo Rheine who live in a few small sub-groups, creating the sort of social life they would have in the wild. The births are the result of natural pairings, rather than planned breeding efforts. 

See and read more after the fold.

Continue reading "Lion-tailed Macaque Siblings Are Thick As Thieves at NaturZoo Rheine" »


Tumbili Loves Shangwe at Artis Zoo

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Once again Dutch photographer extraordinaire, A.J. Haverkamp, has shared some amazing photos of Chimpanzees at the Artis Royal Zoo. This time he has captured some tender moments between the Artis Zoo's new baby, Shangwe, and alpha male, Tumbili (Billy for short). 

While Chimpanzee groups are led by a dominant male, this individual is often not the biggest or strongest. Rather the alpha male is the best at forging relationships within the group and building alliances, so other group members will support him in times of conflict. Sometimes this maneuvering can be downright manipulative, with the alpha male turning group members against would-be challengers. Sound like any other species you know...?

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Shangwe with Mom 2Photo credit: A.J. Haverkamp

Wonderful photos of Shangwe with Mom below the fold

Continue reading "Tumbili Loves Shangwe at Artis Zoo" »


Giants Fans: San Francisco Zoo Has a New "Rally" Baby!

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A black and orange baby arrived at the San Francisco Zoo in synch with the baseball Giants' playoff success. The good luck baby is a female Francois' Langur Monkey. She is the 17th of her kind to be born at the zoo since 1985. San Fransisco is one of the most successful zoos at breeding this rare monkey, of which only around 2000 remain in the wild.

Parenting duties are shared amongst females in the Langur group. This gives mom a break and allows the infant's aunts and sisters to gain valuable mothering experience. The baby will remain orange and black for the next three to sixth months.

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Photo credit: Marianne Hale / SF Zoo

 

 


Two Baby Gorillas In One Month!

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It had been 23 years since a baby Gorilla was born at North Carolina Zoo when on August 4th, "Bomassa", a healthy male, was born to 12-year-old "Jamani". Weeks later, on August 31st, a second yet-to-be-named baby Gorilla was born to mother "Olympia".

The rare births are cause for celebration not only for N.C. Zoo but also for the entire Gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP®), the group responsible for the long-term sustainability of the western lowland gorilla population in North American zoos. With these births, the Gorilla SSP moves closer to its target population size of 360 individuals in 52 zoos.

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Photo credit: Tom Gillespie / North Carolina Zoo

Continue reading "Two Baby Gorillas In One Month!" »


Baby Siamang Swings into Tel Aviv

Baby Siamang and Mom at Tel Aviv Zoo

Earlier this month, Siamang mom and dad, Jamby and Jan (Jan is the boy), welcomed their first baby, which also marks the first baby Siamang for Zoological Center Tel Aviv Ramat Gan. Even though Jamby's pregnancy lasted eight months, the healthy baby weighed in at just 170 grams (1/3rd of a pound)!

When these Siamangs first arrived at Zoo Tel Aviv, they were exhibited with the Orangutans but the match was not meant to be. Jamby and Jan felt the need assert their dominance over their gentle roommates. When keepers decided the Siamangs were being bullies, the red apes were relocated.

Siamangs are endangered in their native home of Southeast Asia due to habitat destruction.

Baby Siamang Close-up Tel Aviv Zoo

Baby Siamang at Tel Aviv ZooPhoto credits: Tibor Jäger


Baby Mouse Lemur Season Finale!

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Back in July we brought you Duke Lemur Center's first batch of wriggling baby Mouse Lemurs! Today we officially bring the season to a close and what a successful one it's been! A total of twenty infants, ten males and ten females, have been born this summer with the last birth on August 10th. The oldest mouse moms were four year olds Oleander and Calendula and the youngest was 10 month old Nettle. 

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As an added bonus, Duke Lemur Center has also shared photos of their tiny Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur babies, marking the first successful birth of this species since 1987! This unique animal is the only tropical mammal as well as only primate anywhere known to hibernate. Unlike cold weather hibernators, the Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur appears to enter periods of dormancy during drought. While hibernating, this lemur lives off of stores of fat in its tail. Despite having a name that's a mouthful, this species is one of the smallest of all primates.

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_3DH3115_cm7123 7124 7125EDPhoto credits: David Haring / Duke Lemur Center


Better Bottle Feed That Baby!

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Keepers at Des Moines, Iowa's Blank Park Zoo sprang into action when it became clear the mother of a new born baby Japanese Macaque was neglecting her infant. The female baby monkey, born April 20, is now being bottle fed every couple of hours and will remain in keepers' care until she is fully weaned and able to rejoin the Macaque troop. 

“This is a positive step forward for the Japanese macaque breeding program, but we can’t call it a success until the mothers learn how to care for their young” said Kevin Drees, director of animal care and conservation. “None of our females of breeding age have raised a baby before so that is why keepers had to intervene.”

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Japanese macaques are threatened due to deforestation and the loss of their habitat. As human development invades the territories of these macaques, human and macaque encounters increase, and about 5000 macaques are captured or shot each year (despite protection from the Japanese government) for they are considered as agricultural pests.

Continue reading "Better Bottle Feed That Baby! " »


Double Mongoose Lemur Trouble At Busch Gardens

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Earlier this month, Busch Gardens witnessed an uncommon event: the birth of Mongoose Lemur twins. On Friday, April 6, the two babies were born to 17-year-old mother Rosalita and 18-year-old father Guillermo. Rosalita’s first baby – a male named Duggan – was also born at Busch Gardens and moved to another zoo for breeding. Mongoose Lemurs are classified as a “vulnerable” species, and Busch Gardens takes part in Species Survival Plans (SSP) initiated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to cooperatively manage breeding programs for threatened or endangered species in accredited institutions. 

Busch Gardens zoo staff aren’t yet sure if the new babies are male or female. All baby Mongoose Lemurs look the same at birth, but around 6-8 months of age, males start to change color and develop their red “beard” and cheeks. Females have a darker face and white beard. 

Look closely in the pictures below to spot the babies tucked under mom's leg!

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Photo credit: Matt Marriott / Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

The Mongoose Lemur, like all Lemurs, is indigenous to the island of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, but they are one of only two species of Lemur to also live in an area outside the island: Mongoose Lemurs can be found on the Comoros Islands between Madagascar and Africa.