Potter Park Zoo is thrilled to announce the arrival of a vibrant and healthy ring-tailed lemur pup born Thursday, June 8, 2023. This occasion marks the second successful birth of this species in the last year, further highlighting Potter Park Zoo’s commitment to conservation and breeding programs.
Ring-tailed lemurs, scientifically known as Lemur Catta, are native to the island of Madagascar, off the coast of Africa. These primates have a distinctive feature of 13 alternating black and white bands adorning their tails. Initially clinging to their mother’s bellies, the infants will soon be observed riding jockey-style on their mothers’ backs. They gradually begin sampling solid foods within a week and gain independence over the course of a month. However, they continue to nurse and seek comfort from their mothers until they are weaned at around five or six months of age.
Under the care of the zoo’s dedicated animal care team, the lemur pup has been actively nursing from its mother and eagerly exploring its surroundings with each passing day. The proud parents, Han and Madi, are providing attentive care to their offspring.
“The birth of an endangered species at the zoo is always an incredibly rewarding experience and we are overjoyed by the arrival of this healthy baby,” said Annie Marcum, Carnivore and Primate Area Lead Keeper. “Our team has been working closely with the entire troop to ensure their well-being and provide the best possible care”.
Potter Park Zoo’s breeding pair of lemurs was recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), which works to maintain healthy and genetically diverse zoo populations. By successfully breeding our lemurs, the zoo plays a vital role in the conservation efforts aimed at preserving this endangered species.
Ring-tailed lemurs face significant threats in the wild, primarily due to the rapid disappearance of their preferred habitats – sparse, dry forests. With their endangered status on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, every birth within the ring-tailed lemur population is a testament to the ongoing fight for their survival. Potter Park Zoo views each birth as a small victory and an opportunity to engage the public, raise awareness, and foster a connection with this rare and captivating species.
Visitors to the zoo can now witness the delightful lemur family in the Feline and Primate House, where they can observe their playful interactions and learn more about the species. We encourage everyone to follow Potter Park Zoo’s social media pages for regular updates and captivating moments with the troop.
Potter Park Zoo is home to nearly 300 animals, including critically endangered black rhinos, endangered red pandas, Massasauga rattlesnakes, and spider monkeys. The zoo is open 364 days a year, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to learn about and appreciate the diverse wildlife of our planet year-round. To learn more about Potter Park Zoo and the incredible animals in their care, visit: potterparkzoo.org.