Skip to content
Home ยป Dancing Lemur: Chester Zoo Celebrates Coquerel’s Sifaka Birth

Dancing Lemur: Chester Zoo Celebrates Coquerel’s Sifaka Birth

Image source, Chester Zoo

Image caption, The baby Coquerel’s sifaka was born in December

A critically endangered primate, nicknamed the dancing lemur because of the way it moves, has been bred for the first time in Europe, a zoo has said.

Chester Zoo said the birth of the baby Coquerel’s sifaka was a “landmark moment for the species”.

A representative said the “precious youngster” arrived to parents Beatrice and Elliot 18 months after the duo were translocated from the US.

Mammals curator Mark Brayshaw said both mother and baby were “doing great”.

The species is only found in the wild in the treetops of north-west Madagascar and had suffered an 80% decline in the last 30 years due to widespread deforestation.

They are distinguishable from other lemurs because of the way they move, maintaining an upright posture and spring side to side along the floor on their back legs.

Image source, Chester Zoo

Image caption, The critically endangered primate gets its nickname due to the unique way it moves

The zoo representative said the primates were critically endangered in the wild and the family trio at Chester represented almost half of the seven Coquerel’s sifakas being cared for in Europe.

The new arrival weighed 4oz (119g) and would be clinging tightly to its mother’s belly “for several weeks, before riding on her back like a backpack until around six months old”, they said.

They added that staff would determine the sex of the tiny primate, which was born in December, “once it starts to branch away and explore on its own”.

Image source, Chester Zoo

Image caption, The zoo’s director of animals and plants said the birth was “a real landmark moment for conservation”

Mr Brayshaw said it would not be long “until this bright-eyed baby will be bouncing between tree to tree just like its parents”.

Mike Jordan, the zoo’s director of animals and plants, said the birth was “a real landmark moment for conservation”.

He said it had “kickstarted” the European breeding programme for the species which could be “the lifeboat that prevents them from becoming wiped out completely”.

Why not follow BBC North West on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? You can also send story ideas to [email protected]

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.