On Friday, April 16, black and white ruffed lemurs?Vintana?and?Nify?welcomed two newborn pups to their family.?Vintana, the?7?year old female, and?Nify, the?19?year old male, were recommended to pair up by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan program. The couple are experienced parents, and the new additions total four offspring since 2018.??
“The birth of any newborn animal at the Zoo is cause for celebration, but the birth of an endangered species is momentous,” says Kiersten McCormick, Happy Hollow’s General Manager.???
Black and white ruffed lemurs are listed as?critically?endangered?by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. In the wild, they are found only in Madagascar and face threats due to habitat loss, and the demand for them in the illegal exotic pet industry.?
“Though their antics can be amusing, it’s important to remember that our Zoo animals are not here for entertainment purposes,” says Happy Hollow Zoo Manager, Kevin?Hertell. “Very few people will actually take their families to visit?Madagascar, but when they see our lemurs up close? — it makes them much more likely to want to protect their wild counterparts and habitats.”?
Currently,?Vintana?and her pups?have access to an?off-view den?for quiet?bonding, but?she has already?been observed?bringing?them out to spend time in the main exhibit and lucky guests may?catch?a glimpse of them.?“Both pups are bright and alert and on track weight-wise for their age,” says Rachel Atkins, Happy Hollow’s Veterinary Technician. “Vintana?enjoyed her favorite treats during the pups’ first exam, so everyone was calm and comfortable.?Like any pregnancy, it’s always a relief when newborns pass their first check-up with flying colors. We will continue monitoring them very closely, but so far we are ecstatic to see them thriving.”??
You can see Happy Hollow’s three species of lemurs inside the two different Zoo areas: Zoo on the Hill and Zoo in the Hollow.?Happy Hollow’s covid-modified?Walk Through the Zoo?is open daily with health screenings upon entry, mandatory masks for ages 2 and up, and timed ticket reservations. The rides currently remain closed, but two large play and eating areas are available with admission. Plan your visit at?www.happyhollow.org?