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Happy Hollow Blog

Meet Alina and Ala!

Wednesday, 6/2

Updated June 22, 2021
Over 800 people participated in naming the Happy Hollow’s newest additions!

On April 16, Happy Hollow Park & Zoo welcomed twin?female?endangered black and white ruffed lemur pups. The public was invited to participate in naming the new babies. With?844?total?votes, the winning names,?with?330?votes,?are?Alina?and?Ala, meaning “night”?and?forest”?in Malagasy, the National language of Madagascar where all species of lemurs are found.?

The voting kicked off on?June 1?with?a buzz of?excitement. Online voters lobbied on?Happy Hollow’s?social media for their favorite name out of three?sets of?choices??Sampana?and?Ravina,?Tahina and Tapia, and?Alina and Ala?—?which?all?carry special meanings in Malagasy.??

Alina and Ala?live as a family unit with?their?parents,?Vintana?and?Nify,?their?brother,?Loka,?and?their?sister,?Koa,?as they would naturally if they lived in the wild. Groups or families of lemurs are referred to as a “conspiracy,” due to the way these animals work together to attack predators.???

“We are?ecstatic?to have healthy black and white ruffed lemur pups two years in a row,” says Rachel Atkins, Veterinary Technician at Happy Hollow. “Vintana?and?Nify?have proven themselves to be successful parents?several times?over, and we are?so?excited to add?Alina?and?Ala?to Happy Hollow’s lemur family and to the black and white ruffed lemur species as a whole.”?

These?new healthy females?make this critically endangered lemur species?two?pups?stronger and provide an opportunity for the Zoo to educate the public about the conservation of the species?and their habitat.?Threats to black and white ruffed lemurs in the wild include habitat destruction, climate change, and a demand for lemurs as part of the illegal exotic pet trade.?

Every?animal at Happy Hollow is an ambassador for their species,” says Zoo?Curator,?Heather?Vrzal. “Few people from our community may have the opportunity to see a lemur in the wild, but getting to experience their antics here at Happy Hollow allows people to connect with them?and to learn about the importance of conserving their species and their wild?habitats.”???

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo has been continuously accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums for over 26 years and participates in Species Survival Plan programs to safeguard animals like?Alina?and?Ala against extinction. These programs help improve the genetic diversity of animals that are born in zoos, while educating and inspiring the next generation of conservationists.??

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo is currently open to the public by reservation, and lucky visitors can catch a glimpse of the lemur pups in their habitat in the Zoo on the Hollow.?Book a reservation online today.?