April 2016 (Sanford, FL) – The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is excited to announce the birth of a red-ruffed lemur on April 30, 2016. The lemur weighed approximately 90 grams when born, and is growing rapidly at about 100 grams per week! The lemur’s father was born at the Central Florida Zoo in 1994, and the mother came from the Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero, California. The lemur and its parents are available for viewing daily during Zoo hours from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Red-ruffed lemurs are one of the species at the Zoo that are involved in the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP). SSP’s are managed breeding programs for individual species that are vanishing from the wild. The Zoo is a participant in several other SSP plans that include the cotton-top tamarin, spot-nosed guenon, prehensile-tailed skink, hyacinth macaw, one-horned rhino, clouded leopard, and fossa.
“As a conservation and educational resource, it is important that the Zoo contributes to the AZA’s SSP programs. This birth will help secure the future of a vital lemur species, as well as delight guests visiting the Zoo,” said Shonna Green, Communications Director.
Red-ruffed lemurs, like all lemurs, are found only on the island of Madagascar. Even on the island, the red-ruffed lemur has a very restricted range, inhabiting only the remaining primary forests of the Masoala Peninsula in northeastern Madagascar. Red-ruffed lemurs exhibit loud vocalizations to maintain territorial boundaries and also to communicate among the troop. Their main predator is the fossa, Madagascar’s largest carnivore, which is an animal also found at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens. Due to hunting and habitat destruction, the red-ruffed lemur is critically endangered.