First video of rare Red Ruffed Lemur born at the San Diego Zoo

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Photo by: Jenny Mehlow

How could you NOT love that face?  The first red ruffed lemur born in the San Diego Zoo in 13 years is barely 3 weeks old, and has more Facebook hits on the San Diego Zoo Facebook page than most rock stars, and it’s no wonder!

Images of the tiny (smaller than the handler’s hand!) primate are hypnotic. The miniscule, yet long finger like appendages, wrapping themselves around anything, just  to keep the wobbly head steady are mesmerizing enough. But then, there’s those eyes – HUGE round unblinking honey brown eyes!  Not sure if he is scared, or what, until you look at mom, who has the same look in a much bigger frame. 

“Ony” as this 9 oz baby is called (after the word for river in Malagasy), is the first offspring for his mom, which you can see in the video provided by the San Diego Zoo. “So far” say their caretakers “she is proving to be an excellent mother”.. adding that “Morticia is willing to let keepers borrow her infant in exchange for some of her favorite fruits, but she is eager to get him back and is feeding him very, very well”.

The highly endangered red ruffed lemur is found in one region in the entire world, the Masoala Peninsuna in Madagascar. The species is one the world’s  25 most endangered primates according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature SSC Primate Specialist Group.  While it has been a while, the zoo has been very successful in their red ruffed lemur breeding program, with more than 100 born in their specialized unit  since 1965. 

Congratulations to the zoo, mom Morticia (no word on where that name came from!), and Ony. Enjoy the images and video.

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