Zoo celebrates birth of six rare baby lemurs

A zoo is celebrating after six rare lemurs – including two sets of twins – were born.

Five endangered ring-tailed lemurs are among the new arrivals at Chester Zoo, as well as one rare black lemur – the first to be born there.

Baby ring-tailed lemurs at Chester Zoo
The baby ring-tailed lemurs can be seen piggybacking on their mothers (Chester Zoo/PA)

The youngsters, less than 15cm tall at birth, have all been born since January and can be seen piggybacking on their mums at the zoo’s 6,000 square metre Madagascar zone.

Dr Nick Davis, Chester Zoo’s deputy curator of mammals, said: “To have six rare baby lemurs born within weeks of each other is great news for the breeding programme.

A baby black lemur born at Chester Zoo
The baby black lemur is the first to be at Chester (Chester Zoo/PA)

“The newborns are clinging tight to their mums right now, it’s a real family affair. They grow up quickly though. Within a few weeks, the little ones will start to climb on their own, eat solid foods and gain some independence.”

Keepers will not know the babies’ genders until they leave their mothers’ backs and start to move around their enclosure independently.

A baby ring-tailed lemur clings to its mum
Habitat loss has hit ring-tailed lemur populations in the wild (Chester Zoo/PA)

Lemur populations are under threat in the wild largely because of the destruction of their natural habitats.

Madagascar has lost 90% of its forests, according to the zoo, leaving many of its native species on the brink of extinction.

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