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!
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.