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Chester Zoo Celebrates Birth of Rare Lemur

Conservationists at Chester Zoo recently had great cause for celebration following the arrival of a new-born Coquerel’s sifaka lemur. The species is not only one of the rarest primates in the world, but is also a critically endangered species in its native Madagascar.

After a five-month-long pregnancy, the tiny lemur was born to parents Elliot and Beatrice weighing just 120g. The zoo has shared early images captured of the new-born bonding with its mother, secured by its tight grip on her fur while she leapt between trees in their special enclosure onsite.

Commenting on the baby lemur’s development, primate specialists at Chester said that the new arrival will start to explore by itself when it is reaches an age of three months old. At this point, keepers will be able to determine whether the new-born is female or male.

Coquerel’s sifaka lemur is often called the ‘dancing lemur’. This is because of the unusual way that it moves from place to place. The lemurs stand straight up on their strong legs and bounce from side to side across the floor. The power in their legs also allows them to jump through the treetops, covering 20 feet or more in one bound.

Chester is presently the only zoo in the whole of the United Kingdom, (and one of three in Europe) caring for this species of lemur. The baby lemur’s parents arrived at the Zoo in 2021, after being transferred from the Duke Lemur Centre in North Carolina in the US.

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