The Sacramento Zoo welcomes its newest resident, and the first baby born in 2014: an infant Coquerel’s Sifaka Lemur discovered by keepers the morning of Sunday, January 5th. The male weighed 121 grams at birth. Mother, father and infant are bonding in their habitat across from the Conservation Carousel.
Coquerel’s Sifaka have a unique brown and white coloration, and are distinguished from other lemurs by the way they move. All sifaka have arms, hips, hands, and feet specially adapted for vertical clinging and leaping. Their legs are extremely long relative to body and arm length. Using their powerful back legs, they travel through the forest jumping from one upright tree limb to another, easily leaping more than 20 feet in a single bound. On the ground they cannot run on all fours because of their long legs so they travel by springing sideways to cover the distance. There are potentially less than 10,000 Coquerel’s Sifaka living in the wild and they are native only to a small area of northwestern Madagascar. Coquerel’s Sifaka are among the most endangered of the sifaka species – habitat loss due to deforestation is the leading threat.
There are only nine AZA-accredited facilities in the U.S. that house fewer than 60 endangered Coquerel’s Sifaka. To help preserve vanishing species, the Sacramento Zoo takes part in Species Survival Plans® initiated by the Association of Zoos and Aquarium, to cooperatively manage specific population of typically threatened or endangered species in accredited institutions.
|Mom in front cradling baby, with dad looking on.|