SINGAPORE – Two red ruffed lemur babies were born in Singapore Zoo on February 22, at a time when Covid-19 began spreading worldwide.
The lemur babies, which have not yet been named, are almost five months old and have begun to welcome visitors after the zoo reopened on 6 July.
“(The twins) can often be spotted enjoying meals with their parents in the (zoo),” said Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) in a video posted on Facebook on Thursday (July 16).
The last time the zoo welcomed the birth of the critically endangered red ruffed lemur was 11 years ago when the twins’ father, Bosco, was born.
His friend, eight-year-old Minnie, arrived at the Singapore Zoo from Japan in 201
The pair were matched specifically for conservation breeding because of their compatibility, the WRS said in a statement.
“Reproduction for these rust-colored primates is notoriously difficult because they only breed once a year,” says the reserve.
“On top of that, women are only pregnant one of the few days they are sexually susceptible, which makes this twin birth especially special.”
With the new additions, there are now five red ruffled lemurs, 12 ring-tailed lemurs and three black and white ruffed lemurs in Singapore Zoo.
Red ruffled lemurs are native to the northeastern part of Madagascar and the biggest threat they face is loss of habitat due to illegal logging and hunting.
There are between 29,000 and 52,000 red rugged lemurs left in the wild.
They are a sister species to the black and white ruffled lemurs native to eastern Madagascar.
Even if the two species do not exist in the same geographical area, they can understand each other’s conversations and communicate.