First lemur pup born at Lee Richardson Zoo

The Telegram staff
Sorsha, a critically endangered five-year-old red ruffed lemur, is shown with her new pup in Lee Richardson Zoo's Primate Forest building.  The pup was born on June 2.

Lee Richardson Zoo has announced that Sorsha, a critically endangered five-year-old red ruffed lemur who lives at the zoo, gave birth to a healthy baby on June 2.  Mother and baby are both doing well.  This is the first lemur born at Lee Richardson Zoo.

This is also Sorsha’s first offspring or pup as baby lemurs are called.  The new mom is being very attentive to the newborn.  Staff will be monitoring the pup’s growth and other developmental milestones as well as mom’s maternal behavior.  Mother and baby will be in one of the dayrooms at Primate Forest.  

Unlike most primates who carry their infants with them, red ruffed lemurs ‘park’ their offspring while they go foraging.  This means you may see Sorsha climbing around the dayroom without the little one who will still be in a nestbox, and most likely won’t poke its head out for several weeks. The adult male lemurs, Frank and Bogey, can be seen in the outdoor area.  They will join the others once mother and baby have settled in.

Sorsha arrived from Henson Robinson Zoo in Springfield, Illinois, to join the males at Lee Richardson Zoo after construction of Primate Forest was completed last year.  

The pairing was a result of a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Red Ruffed Lemur Species Survival Plan (SSP).  Lee Richardson Zoo works with the other participants in the SSP toward the long-term sustainability of red ruffed lemurs and enhancing the conservation of the species in the wild through combined efforts and cooperative management of the population.

Red ruffed lemurs are native to the northeastern part of Madagascar. They are critically endangered due to habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as hunting.  They are one of the largest lemur species.