Alhough Zoo Miami was closed for nearly three months due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the animals at the zoo went about their normal lives which included having babies.
Included among several new babies born during that time is that of an endangered Mongoose lemur that was born on May 6.
Although all of the other babies that have been born at the zoo during the past several weeks are important, this particular birth was especially significant because it was the first birth of this species in the zoo’s history.
Both parents were born at the Lemur Conservation Foundation in Myakka City, FL. The 5-year-old mother is named “Julieta” and the 12-year-old father is named “Jaunito.” Both arrived at Zoo Miami in January of 2019 and this is their first offspring.
Because of the sensitivity of the situation, zoo staff has not attempted to perform a neonatal exam on the infant to help ensure that both mother and baby are well bonded with minimal disturbance. Because no exam has been done, the gender of the baby is still undetermined.
Like all other lemurs, Mongoose lemurs are found on the island of Madagascar. However, it is the only species of lemur to also be found outside of Madagascar after being introduced to the Comoros Islands northwest of Madagascar. They are arboreal and feed primarily on fruits and flowers and are considered to be important pollinators. They occasionally will take grubs and small vertebrates.
Found in small family groups that consist of an adult bonded pair and offspring, the adult female is usually the dominant individual.
Mother and baby are on exhibit but can present a challenge to see as she prefers to stay high in the trees, still being very protective of her baby which appears to be doing very well.