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The baby was born on 10th July to mum Tiako (aptly named after the Malagasy word ‘to love’) and Loko, the Zoo’s pair of crowned lemurs.
Lynsey Bugg, Assistant Curator of Mammals said: “Tiako is demonstrating very strong maternal capabilities for a first time mum, whilst Loko is doing a good job of playing the protective father. We are unsure of the sex of the baby as yet but as time goes by and as Tiako and Loko become less protective we will be able to see whether their little one is male or female.”
Baby crowned lemurs spend a lot of time on their mum’s fronts for the first few weeks before moving to their backs as they grow in independence and confidence.
Tiako and Loko joined the Zoo on Valentine’s Day in 2014 and with the number of crowned lemurs in the wild on the decline, keepers at Bristol Zoo hoped they would go on to start a family.
Lynsey added: “We are delighted to welcome Tiako and Loko’s first baby to the Bristol Zoo family. With the species in the trouble it is, having a population of crowned lemurs in human care is growing more and more important. There are as few as 80 crowned lemurs in Europe and this is the first ever crowned lemur birth at Bristol Zoo. A successful birth such as this one is a great step forward for the conservation of this species.”
In the wild, crowned lemurs inhabit a small patch of forest in Madagascar and are classified as Endangered in the wild. The population is rapidly decreasing due to heavy mining, illegal logging, the illegal pet trade and sustenance hunting.
The crowned lemur gets its name from the distinct ‘crown’ fur pattern on the top of its head which is a clearly defined orange-brown shade.
Bristol Zoo Gardens is a conservation and education charity and relies on the generous support of the public not only to fund its important work in the zoo, but also its vital conservation and research projects spanning five continents.
Photo credit Miriam Haas.
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Now faced with a third closure, the BZS Appeal is more important than ever