09/04/2019

Twin lemurs deliver trio of babies for third year running

​Welcoming a tiny trio into our group of Ring-tailed Lemurs

Twin ring-tailed lemurs at Bristol Zoo have delivered babies within days of each other for the third year in a row.

Sisters, Mavis and Ethel, have a history of synchronising their births since they brought babies into the world on the same night in 2017.

In 2018, the eight-year-old siblings gave birth within just three days of each other.

This year Mavis gave birth to a singleton on Mothering Sunday and Ethel gave birth to twins on Thursday 4 April.

Although very common for lemurs to deliver young at this time of year, being seasonal breeders, the close timings of the sisters’ births for a third year running have excited keepers.

Sarah Gedman, mammals’ team leader at Bristol Zoo Gardens, said: “We knew that Ethel and Mavis were expecting babies, but it’s often hard to know when exactly they conceived.

“It was a surprise to find that they had delivered within just a handful of days of each other again. They are both lovely, attentive mothers who do a fantastic job at bringing up their young.”

The new arrivals will be fed by their mums for the next few months and will be carried around holding on to their mums’ chests.

Once stronger they will begin piggybacking their mums and will start to move more independently.

Sarah added that visitors to Bristol Zoo over the forthcoming weeks will be able to see the infants with their mums, but will have to look very closely as they are likely to be snuggled up tight.

The new lemurs mean we now have 14 in our walk-through exhibit which is now open for the summer. There are talks at 11.45am and 2.30pm each day- the perfect time to catch a glimpse of the new arrivals!

Our walk-through, which is located within the Monkey Jungle exhibit at the Zoo, is sponsored by Redmaids’ High School.

Ring-tailed lemurs are an endangered species. They are found only in the forests of southern and southwestern Madagascar, an island off the southeast coast of Africa, where the destruction and degradation of their forest home is the biggest threat to their survival.

Bristol Zoo Gardens is a conservation and education charity and relies on the generous support of the public, not only to fund its important work in the Zoo, but also its vital conservation and research projects spanning five continents. 

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