“The Honolulu Zoo is very excited to have a newborn lemur as the parents are part of a captive breeding program, and help further one of the zoo’s main missions – conservation,” said Honolulu Zoo Director Linda Santos. “Baby and mother are doing well and are currently separated from the father as Remi is very protective of her baby. The family will be reunited when Remi is ready.”
Ring-tailed lemurs are listed as endangered and can only be found living in the wild in Madagascar. They are recognized for their approximate two-foot long black and white banded tails. The gestation period for lemurs is approximately 4.5 months.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) considers lemurs to be the world’s most endangered mammals, noting that as of 2013, up to 90 percent of all lemur species face extinction within the next 20 to 25 years. Their main threats are hunting and trapping, logging and wood harvesting, and converting forests into agricultural land. The Honolulu Zoo worked together with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Ring-Tailed Lemur Species Survival Plan (SSP) to bring the breeding pair to the zoo.
The three lemurs are now on display at the Honolulu Zoo’s Primate Islands.