COLORADO SPRINGS — The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo welcomed its two newest residents on Sunday.
8-year-old ring-tailed lemur, Allagash, gave birth to twins Sunday morning. The twins are the second and third ring-tailed lemurs born at the zoo this year. Allagash’s sister, Rogue, welcomed her first baby on April 26.
Six ring-tailed lemurs now share a waterfront home in their new exhibit, Water's Edge: Africa, which opened in June of 2020. They are, Hercules, 4-year-old dad; Allagash, 8-year-old mom; Rogue, 8-year-old sister/aunt; Rogue’s 11-week-old baby, and the newborn twins.
The zoo said staff have seen the babies nursing and consistently clinging to mom, behaviors that indicate the babies are healthy and bonding well with Allagash. The sexes of the twins have not been identified, but the zoo will share updates on its social media channels as the team learns more about them. As long as all continues to go well for the lemurs, guests can see them right away.
The zoo's veterinary and animal staff are closely monitoring mom and her new babies, but won’t get the babies in hand unless they see it’s medically necessary.
According to the Lemur Conservation Foundation, lemurs are among the most threatened groups of mammals. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates that over 95 percent of lemurs face extinction in the next 20 years. Ring-tailed lemurs are endangered, according to the IUCN.
The zoo said they were aware of Allagash’s pregnancy and monitored her and the twins regularly. Lemur gestation periods last about 135 days. Breeding females typically have one baby per year, but twins can be common when food is abundant. Newborn lemurs cling closely to the mother’s abdomen for about two weeks, then will start to ride on her back. After about a month, young lemurs will start exploring more independently and are typically fully weaned at about five or six months.