The Santa Barbara Zoo helped bring two new members of a dwindling population into the world. On Tuesday, April 3, animal keepers discovered the arrival of twin baby Black and White Ruffed Lemurs. The brother and sister pair weighed five ounces at birth, and continue to grow and charm everyone who sees them as they move around the exhibit with their mother.
Black and White Ruffed Lemurs are among the remaining 22 species of lemur left in the rainforests of their native Madagascar. All Lemurs are highly endangered, due to habitat destruction and heavy hunting. The American Zoo and Aquarium Association have included Lemurs in their Species Survival Plan, which is set up to organize breeding programs for specific animals to prevent extinction. The Santa Barbara Zoo participates in the SSP program. In fact the first SSP species to be born at there was a Black and White Ruffed Lemur, and for 20 years the Lemur was featured on the Santa Barbara Zoo’s logo.
“We’re grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the program,” Zoo Director of Animal Programs and Conservation Alan Varsik. “And really excited that our zoo’s efforts have added two more lemurs to the world population.”
The newborn lemurs can be seen with Mom and Dad, who arrived at the Zoo in 2004, and their older twin brothers, born in May 2005.