First birth of Red-bellied lemurs at the zoo!
Our female Red-bellied Lemur (Eulemur rubriventer) recently gave birth to twins. This is a first in the zoo history as we’ve been hosting this species for just only over a year.The babies are also the first of Flisa and Noro, a new but well-established pair since their arrival at the zoo last year. The youngsters (a male and a female according to the first observations of the keepers) are still snuggled up along their mother’s hips and are doing well. They were named Zoto and Dimby.
Red-bellied Lemurs live a small family groups made of 6 to 8 individuals. Males can be distinguished from females by white teardrop shaped markings at the corner of each eye.
The species shows some notable particularities among which cathemerality (i.e. active both day and night) and males sometimes carrying the youngsters.
Classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List, the Red-bellied Lemur is threatened by deforestation, habitat fragmentation and poaching. Its numbers are quickly declining and it is becoming increasingly rare in many areas despite its large home range.
The Helpsimus Association, that is supported by La Palmyre Zoo and preserves Greater Bamboo Lemurs in Madagascar, also protects 10 groups of Red-bellied Lemurs on its conservation site. One of these groups is being habituated in a forest fragment at Sahofika as part of the development of an ecotourism project. Noro shares his name with a wild male from the group monitored by Helpsimus in Sahofika.