Audubon Zoo welcomes pair of baby lemurs
NEW ORLEANS - The Audubon Zoo says they’ve received a special delivery in the form of a pair of black-and-white, ruffed lemur babies.
Their names are Maki and Gidro, and they were born on Apr. 22. They’ve been exploring the New Orleans zoo’s World of Primate lemur habitat for about a month now. Maki is French for lemur and Gidro is how you say lemur in Malagasy, one of the dominant languages on the island from which the lemurs come from.
The birth of the lemurs was a first at Audubon Zoo. They’ve been trying to breed them since the lemurs’ mother and father arrived in 2013.
The lemur, a species found only on the island of Madagascar off of the southeast coast of Africa, is critically endangered. Habitat loss and even being hunted for food have decimated their numbers, according to the zoo.
"Unfortunately, the next step for them is extinction,'' said Courtney Eparvier, curator of primates and sea lions at Audubon Zoo. "For that reason, breeding this species in zoos is critical.”
"Audubon, like other zoos that are part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP), follows strict recommendations for breeding. This ensures that genetic diversity within the breeding population remains at a high level, which in turn, helps sustain a healthy population.''
Coincidentally, a pair of lemurs of the same species made a brief escape from the Baton Rouge Zoo on Monday morning. They were recaptured after escaping for an hour through a gate that was left unlocked by a zoo worker.
For more photos of the lemurs, click here.