Endangered Baby Mongoose Lemur Just Arrived at California Zoo

Charles Paddock Zoo/Facebook

The Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero, California, took to Facebook with the exciting news that a baby Mongoose Lemur has been born! These animals are listed as critically endangered according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List, so it's a wonderful boost for the conservation of this species.

The baby lemur is now on exhibit so zoo guests can see it.

The zoo posted on Facebook, in part, "The youngster will stay at the Zoo as part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP) until it is ready to leave and go to another zoo for their breeding program to ensure genetic diversity among the species. The lemurs are critically endangered in the wild due to deforestation and poaching/hunting. The Mongoose Lemurs will remain on exhibit with the baby but have access to the back on busy days to avoid stress."

Related: Endangered Rare Red Panda Shows Off Her Adorable New Baby

Guests on Facebook are celebrating this exciting news and one person posted, "Oh my gosh, I can't wait to see them the next time we go!"

The Charles Paddock Zoo was established in 1955 by Charles Paddock, a county park ranger who nursed wild animals back to health. His reputation for rehabilitating animals soon spread throughout the area and, by 1959, Mr. Paddock’s animal menagerie increased to over 125 wild birds and mammals.

The zoo also explained that this baby's gender is still unknown. "In the first weeks after birth, it is hard to tell the gender, but we will be able to tell if it’s a male or female by the development of its beard color. Males have reddish-orange fur beneath their chins while females have white fur. The males are born with white beards that turn reddish brown when they reach about six weeks old."

Fun Facts About Mongoose Lemurs

Mongoose lemurs are the smallest of all the lemurs, and they only weigh about three pounds. They grow to approximately 14 inches long with an almost 19 inch tail.

In the wild, these beautiful animals live an average of 18-20 years, but in human care, like in zoos or wildlife conservation centers, they can live into their 30s!

They eat mainly fruit, but also eat flowers, leaves and the occasional bug.

LVZoo.org reports, "Human activity is decimating the mongoose lemur populations and their home on the island of Madagascar is diminishing at an alarming rate. In fact, it’s estimated that about 1-2% of Madagascar’s forests are destroyed each year, and only about 10% of Madagascar’s forests remain. Slash-and-burn agriculture, clearing land for cattle, and charcoal production are destroying these precious forest ecosystems."

If you would like to visit the Charles Paddock Zoo, you can find out directions, admission costs, zoo hours and information about special exhibits and events by visiting their website here.

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