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Tel: 01983 403883
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Isle of Wight Zoo,Yaverland Seafront
Sandown, Isle of Wight
PO36 8QB

An Easter Arrival

Isle of Wight Zoo staff were thrilled on Wednesday 20th April to welcome the newest addition to the zoo family. Black lemurs Adala and Mitsio were the lucky parents, and as part of a European Endangered Species Breeding Programme the baby was very good news indeed.

Black lemurs are only found wild in North-west Madagascar, and are classified on the IUCN Red List as a vulnerable species. The breeding programme involves zoos across Europe cooperating to introduce suitable lemurs to each other in the hope of maintaining a genetically healthy group of animals.

Although zoo staff provided a screened-off bedroom for Adala to give birth in, she didn’t appear to have used it. Instead she proudly sat in view of the public cleaning her baby, who appears to be female. Black lemurs have different colouring depending on their sex –males are black, but females are a paler brown with white ear tufts. The baby has tiny ear tufts and a ginger back, so staff are tentatively declaring her to be a daughter. She will, however, begin life clinging tightly to her mother so it may be some time before her keepers are able to get a really good view of her.

In the meantime mother and baby will be closely monitored. Adala has been a mother before so her keepers are optimistic that she will bond with her new daughter and raise her successfully.

"She was right by the fence so we went for a closer look, when we noticed she was holding something... a baby lemur!" - Sarah Upshon and family, the visitors who discovered the lemur.