The Animal Facts Editorial Team
May 5, 2023 10:59 am
Nashville Zoo, Tennessee, The United States
Nashville Zoo have celebrated the birth of a red-ruffed lemur infant to mother Phoebe and has been named Penelope by keepers. The pregnancy was made easier for keepers as Penelope participated in her own health care throughout the pregnancy.
The female infant was born on Thursday April 20th 2023 to mother Phoebe and dad Emilio. At birth she weighed in at 114g. This is the first infant for her parents but keepers in the zoo’s primate team report that she is doing well. At present the new family are being given time to bond in an indoor habitat but will take their first steps outside soon.
Keepers from the primate care team have been working alongside vets and Penelope herself to keep track of the pregnancy.
“We were able to track this pregnancy by training Phoebe to voluntary participate in ultrasounds which provided our team with essential information on the health of the baby and mom,” said Nashville Zoo’s primate keeper Tatum Davis. “As a first-time mom, Phoebe is learning and has proven to take excellent care of her baby which is the ideal situation in the care of this species.”
Red-ruffed lemurs are only found on the island of Madagascar off the East coast of Africa. They are a highly social species with 12 calls they can use to communicate with one another.
Along with breeding the species in captivity the Nashville Zoo provides financial contributions to Madagascar’s SAVA Conservation Project, an organization working to preserve Madagascar’s biodiversity through educating local communities.
There are over 111 lemur species known to science but each is unique. Find out what makes the red ruffed lemur special with our fact file.
A red ruffed lemur will maintain a number of nests within their habitat which the mother moves her infants between by carrying them in her mouth.
Image: © Nashville Zoo
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