Endangered mongoose lemur born at Atascadero zoo

April 18, 2024

Baby lemur with mother


An endangered mongoose lemur baby has been welcomed into the world at the Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero. The baby lemur is now on exhibit and can be seen by watchful visitors.

For the first three weeks, this adorable lemur will cling to its mother.

It is hard to tell the gender in the first weeks after birth. When mongoose lemurs are older, males and females develop different beard colors. Males have reddish-orange fur beneath their chins while females have white fur. The males are born with white beards that turn the reddish-brown when they reach about six weeks old.

Around five weeks, the new baby will start to slowly venture out and sample the foods that it’s mother and father are eating. The adult diet consists mostly of fruit, but they also eat flowers, leaves and occasionally bugs.

At about five to six months, the young lemur will be completely weaned. The youngster will stay in Atascadero as part of the species survival plan until it is ready to leave and go to another zoo for a breeding program to ensure genetic diversity among the species.

The lemurs are critically endangered in the wild because of deforestation and poaching.  The mongoose lemurs will remain on exhibit with the baby but have access to the back on busy days to avoid stress and over stimulation.


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If you have listened to their screaming, we are lucky that they are not as prolific as a skunk.

Madagascar is home to almost all breeds of this animal species.