A trio of adorable new faces will now be calling the Bronx Zoo home.
On Thursday, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)’s Bronx Zoo welcomed two baby ring-tailed lemurs and one brown collared lemur into its Madagascar! exhibit.
The lemurs — which are the offspring of the endangered Lemur catta and Eulemur collaris species — were born in late March and will now live in the naturalistic habitat that depicts the Malagasy Spiny Forest.
The space, which features six species of lemurs, is also shared with endangered radiated tortoises and various bird species such as the vasa parrots, red fodies, grey-headed lovebirds and ground doves.
According to the zoo, guests hoping to catch a glimpse of the new lemurs will have to pay close attention because the babies are known to cling and snuggle against the fur of their mothers.
Brown collared lemurs are native to the tropical forests of southeastern Madagascar, while the ring-tailed lemurs are native to the forests in the south and southwestern areas.
The red-tailed lemurs are known to be very social and live in large matriarchal groups often containing numerous breeding females. Although they are capable of climbing, they spend most of the time on the ground and newborns will ride on the chest and backs of their mothers for the first few weeks. Within two to four weeks, the babies will then move around on their own — but will still remain close to their mother.
Collard lemurs — which live in groups of males and females — use their long tails to balance when they leap through their habitat. The babies will ride on their mother’s back, while hiding in the fur, for the first few months.
WCS works to save the lemurs and their habitat in the island nation of Madagascar, which is the only place where lemurs can be found in the wild. Their habitats are being destroyed by human activity including charcoal production and slash-and-burn agriculture.
The Bronx Zoo has been breeding lemurs as part of the species survival plans, which are cooperative breeding programs created to enhance the “genetic viability” of animal population in zoos.