On Monday, a tiny baby ring-tailed lemur was born to experienced mom, Cairrean. At an estimated three ounces at birth, the unnamed baby will cling to Cairrean’s chest for a couple of weeks before moving to her back and then will stay clinging to mom until he or she is several weeks old. Mom and baby will be in the lemur habitat most mornings, before retiring to their night house for the remainder of the day.
The Houston Zoo is dedicated to saving animals in the wild, including endangered lemurs. Native only to the small island of Madagascar, lemurs are threatened by deforestation, habitat fragmentation, and hunting. To save these animals from continued decline, the Houston Zoo partners with a Malagasy (native people of Madagascar) conservation organization based in Madagascar called GERP, a French acronym that translates to Primate Education and Research Program. GERP is comprised of many Malagasy researchers and conservationists that have grown up around the areas where they now work to protect the wildlife and habitat. Not only do they address threats to the animals, but they also have a clear understanding of the challenges their own local people face as well. In finding solutions that benefit the people and animals, they successfully protect the forest and lemurs in Madagascar.
Zoo guests support this lemur-saving work through their visit and can see ring-tailed lemurs in Wortham World of Primates in the center of the Zoo. People can take action to help save these unique animals at home by simply being aware of the kind of woods they buy. Many precious kinds of woods such as rosewood and ebony are illegally logged from Madagascar’s forest to be made into furniture, musical instruments, and other items. Avoid buying rosewood and ebony and buy locally sourced wood products wherever possible.