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New black-and-white baby lemur at Wilder Institute / Calgary Zoo

The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo is celebrating the arrival of a new babe – the first of its kind in more than 30 years.

On April 7, four-year-old female lemur Eny, and eight-year-old male lemur Menabe, welcomed their newest addition to the Zoo with the birth of a baby black and white lemur.

The baby lemur’s sex has yet to be identified, but it is out and about moving around tons and spending quality time with its mother every day. It’s the first black and white ruffed lemur born at the Zoo in 36 years.

The baby lemur is a product of the Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is meant to support the long-term sustainability of a species at risk. This is done through appropriately managing and maximizing genetic diversity, while the species are in human care.

The black-and-white ruffed lemurs is one of three lemur species the Zoo is working to protect, through a collaborative program with the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership and the University of Calgary.

This program engages local communities in reforestation activities, planting future habitats for lemurs and improving local livelihoods. 

There is tons of excitement at the zoo, but this is also important for the lemur species.

 “With black-and-white ruffed lemurs being critically endangered in the wild, this pup already plays an important role in the survival and well-being of its species,” said Dr. Typhenn Brichieri-Colombi, who is a Conservation Research and Strategy Advisor at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo.

The lemur (which originates from the island of Madagascar), is in danger of extinction, with 98 per cent of the lemurs in Madagascar being endangered, and 30 per cent facing extinction.

This puts the total number of lemurs at fewer than 10,000. The black-and-white lemur is among the 25 most endangered primates in the world.

Currently, the baby lemur is unavailable for viewing as the Animal Care, Health & Welfare team oversees the progress of the baby lemur and its family.

Meanwhile, Eny, Menabe and their newest child get to spend quality time together as the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo celebrates this momentous occasion.