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New baby animal alert: Check out the baby crowned lemur born at Brandywine Zoo in Delaware

By Krys'tal Griffin, Delaware News Journal,


The Brandywine Zoo is on a roll with new additions to its animal population, and we’re lucky enough to be graced with a second baby animal born at the zoo this summer.

Wondering who the new star is this time? A baby lemur.

On Sept. 27, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the Brandywine Zoo announced the recent birth of a baby crowned lemur.

The baby crowned lemur — which had yet to be named — was born to resident parents Sophie and Kipp, who came to the zoo and were partnered in October 2020 as part of an Association of Zoos & Aquariums' Species Survival Plan.

A Species Survival Plan is a conservation breeding program where vulnerable species in human care are optimally matched for genetic diversity to increase the population, according to the DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation website.

Sophie was born at Zoo Atlanta in 2018, and Kipp was born at the Duke Lemur Center in 2016, according to the Brandywine Zoo.

The baby lemur is a “significant contribution” to the crowned lemur population in North America and brings the total number of crowned lemurs in the Association of Zoos & Aquariums' institutions nationally to 35. The Brandywine Zoo’s newest addition is the only crowned lemur baby born this year, according to DNREC and the zoo.

Sophie and the baby are not on exhibit at the zoo and won’t be for some time, the zoo reported, but staff are closely monitoring the pair and soon will be able to identify the newborn’s sex and weight once it is old enough to venture away from its mother.

Although the baby crowned lemur isn’t ready for visitors quite yet, comments on a Facebook post from the Brandywine Zoo announcing the new addition show the little one already has a fanbase eager to meet it.

“Is there anything cuter than a baby animal? What a sweet little face! Congrats to the Brandywine Zoo! I have to visit them one of these days. Thanks for sharing this.” a comment read.

“Your investment in the future of this rarest of all species is paying off! Worth every penny!,” said a Facebook user.

“Omg! That is the cutest thing!” read another comment.

Crowned lemur population in danger

Crowned lemurs grow up to 28 inches tall (including tail) and are native to Madagascar, found in the northern point of the island. They are known for the orange “crowned” patch on top of their heads and have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years in the wild or 27 years when being cared for by people.

They live in semi-deciduous dry lowland and mid-altitude forest but appear in nearly all forest types and agricultural areas.

The species is currently classified as endangered due to deforestation caused by agriculture — mainly slash-and-burn farming, charcoal production and mining for sapphires and gold – from hunting for bushmeat and the pet trade, according to DNREC and the Brandywine Zoo.

The crowned lemur population is currently in decline, and Madagascar’s status as an extremely impoverished country, along with many humanitarian issues, make wildlife conservation a challenge.

Lemurs are the most threatened group of mammals on the planet, with 95% of lemur species at risk of extinction, according to the Brandywine Zoo.

The Brandywine Zoo is one of only 12 locations in North America where crowned lemurs can be viewed by the public.

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Brandywine Zoo animal news

Along with the baby crowned lemur, the Brandywine Zoo has welcomed a few new guests over the last few months.

A female Hoffman’s two-toed sloth was acquired in May and is housed in the South American exhibit with ducks, ibis and capybara.

In June, two yearling binturongs, also known as Southeast Asian bearcats, were received from a zoo in Michigan. These animals are tree-dwellers and one of the only two carnivores with a prehensile tail.

In July, a Southern pudu fawn was welcomed by parents Ande and Clover, another SSP breeding pair at the facility. The pudu fawn was the first baby born at the zoo this summer.

All of these species have seen a population decline in the wild.

Brandywine Zoo is located at 1001 N. Park Drive, Wilmington.

Got a tip or a story idea? Contact Krys'tal Griffin at .

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This article originally appeared on Delaware News Journal: New baby animal alert: Check out the baby crowned lemur born at Brandywine Zoo in Delaware

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