Baby Lemurs Born at Port Lympne Reserve
Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve are proud to announce the arrival of two beautiful baby white-belted ruffed lemurs.
Born on the 10th July to mum Ikala and dad Mino, the new-borns – a male and a female - are very vocal, hugely active and developing very fast. Ikala, who arrived at Port Lympne last year from Zoo Basel in Switzerland, is a first-time mum, is doing well and has been enormously attentive to the busy, wide-eyed youngsters.
The white-belted ruffed lemur is one of the world’s most endangered primates. Found exclusively on the island of Madagascar in lowland and mid-altitude rainforests, they are highly social animals, living in female-dominated groups. Due to habitat loss, they have sadly faced an 80% reduction of their population in the last 21 years. They are classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List, with their population decreasing every year.
Port Lympne’s Animal Director, Simon Jeffery, said: “Every birth we have here at the reserve is a special moment, but these new-borns are important in keeping this particular species from becoming extinct.
“Ikala has been extremely protective of the duo, regularly taking them into the outer enclosure during the day to hide them in the long grass. It’s rewarding to see how well she’s taken to motherhood.”
Female white-belted ruffed lemurs will usually give birth to twins, but can have up to six babies. Mothers give birth in a tree hollow and leave their new-borns there while they forage for food. They have a herbivorous diet of fruit and plants and are important pollinators, using their long snout and tongue to reach nectar hidden deep inside flowers.
Port Lympne Reserve works in conjunction with The Aspinall Foundation, which helps to protect the Madagascan lemur population and their habitats through community-supported conservation projects. Surveys carried out by the charity in 2009 doubled the number of locations where greater bamboo lemurs were known to occur. This led to the creation of the first-ever community-managed site in Madagascar designed specifically to protect this species. Consequently, the greater bamboo lemur was removed from the list of the 25 most endangered primates in the world, for the first time in a decade.