Mother's Day came early at the Lemur Conservation Foundation in Myakka City: two female lemurs gave birth to healthy babies this weekend. Collared brown lemur Isabelle and her partner, Olivier, welcomed one baby, while red ruffed lemur Zazabe and her partner, Ranomamy, had triplets. All four infants are doing well under the watchful eyes of their mothers and the Lemur Conservation Foundation staff, the foundation said in a release. The triplets are female; the collared brown lemur’s sex will be determined soon.
“These births are exceptional news,” says Lemur Conservation Foundation executive director Deborah Robbins Millman. “Collared brown lemurs are endangered, and red ruffed lemurs are critically endangered—that’s just one step away from ceasing to exist. About 98 percent of the more than 100 species of lemur are threatened with extinction.”
This is the fourth successful collared brown lemur birth in the organization’s 25-year history and the first since 2018. It's the sixth red-ruffed lemur birth in 25 years and the first multiple birth since 2008.
“The mothers are getting special treats and extra nourishment, and we are keeping a close eye on them and the infants,” says Caitlin Kenney, the foundation's curator of primates, adding that the new families are in dedicated habitats for maximum safety and monitoring.
Kenney reports that the red ruffed lemur infants mature quickly and that the triplets are already moving around their enclosure semi-independently. The collared lemur is expected to continue clinging to its mother for another one to two months before reaching the same level of activity. You can keep up with the infants and their growth on the foundation's website and Facebook page.