The family photos are so cute!
Described as ‘tennis balls with tails’ by their Zookeeper, two very rare, but very cute ring-tailed Lemur twins have been born at Chester Zoo – and they’ve even posed with mum and dad to celebrate the news. The news of the twins’ arrival comes after a 135-day-long pregnancy and is super special as the cheeky little animals are considered endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The tiny babies have been clinging super tight to their mum, Fiona, in their early days – so much so, the Zookeepers have been unable to identify their genders. This type of behaviour is common with baby Lemurs, as they tend to spend the first few months of their lives piggybacking their mothers as they learn the ropes. In the first photos released of the new family, the teeny 15cm babies can be seen climbing around mum, Fiona, with father, Dog, snuggling up behind to get a look in.
Chester Zoo’s conservationists have been fighting to protect habitats and unique species in Madagascar, one of the world’s most biodiverse islands, for 10 years alongside field partners Madagasikara Voakajy. The island is the only place in the world where you can find all Lemur species, however, these have become endangered due to 90% of the island’s original forest cover being lost – meaning animals such as Lemurs have lost their homes and been exposed to hunters and predators.
Mike Jordan, Director of Animals and Plant Collections at Chester Zoo, said:
“Ring-tailed lemurs are one of the planet’s highest primate conservation priorities, so we’re absolutely thrilled to see two tiny babies born into the group here at Chester.
“Wonderfully, youngsters are born just like miniature adults and already have all of their fur markings, including their iconic black and white tails which they use to help identify one another. At the moment they’re staying close to mum but it’ll only be a matter of weeks before they start to branch out and climb independently – then they’ll be a real handful for the whole group.”
Continuing: “It’s sad to consider just how endangered they have become but the birth of these twins gives a timely boost to the international conservation breeding programme for these fantastically charismatic animals. We hope these new arrivals also help to inspire a wider awareness of Madagascar’s urgent conservation crisis and the work we’re doing on the island to assist local conservation teams and communities in protecting vital habitats and the species living in them.
“In these unsettling times, the arrival of such endangered babies really does help to raise a smile.”