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Ring-tailed lemur twins born at Franklin Park Zoo

 lemurbabyThe staff at Franklin Park Zoo has double the reason to celebrate with the recent birth of ring-tailed lemur twins.

Nebuchadrezzer (Nebbie), a ring-tailed lemur, gave birth on June 18 inside Franklin Park Zoo’s Tropical Forest. Mom and babies, whose genders are not yet known, can be seen on exhibit.

“As with any new births, we are closely monitoring the mother and babies. The babies appear bright and alert, and are holding on tightly to their mother,” said Jeannine Jackle, Assistant Curator of the Tropical Forest. “Nebbie is an excellent mother and is extremely attentive to the twins. We have an active group of lemurs and it will be great fun for guests to watch these twins grow up and observe the group dynamics.”

These births come as part of the Ring-tailed Lemur Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a cooperative, inter-zoo program coordinated nationally through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Zoo New England is an active participant in this program. SSPs are designed to maintain genetically diverse and demographically stable captive populations of species.

Ring-tailed lemurs are listed as a vulnerable species in their native Madagascar. This island off the southeast coast of Africa is the sole home of lemurs in the wild. Habitat destruction is the biggest threat to the survival of all lemur species.

Zoo New England has exhibited lemurs since the 1970s. Lemurs are noted for their wide-round eyes and their white and black, long banded tails. Ring-tailed lemurs are unusual in that they are active during the day. They inhabit dry brush, scrublands and closed canopy forests of Madagascar. These small primates are one of 22 species of lemurs, all of which share a common ancestry with Africa’s apes and monkeys. As prosimians, they retain more of the ancestral, one might say primitive, characteristics of primates. Learn more about ring-tailed lemurs.

Photos Courtesy of Zoo New England/Christina Demetrio