11 July 2014
An as yet unnamed gentle lemur, pictured with mum Molly, is the first of its kind to ever be born at Chester Zoo.

The new youngster – an Alaotran gentle lemur – arrived to mum Molly and dad Fady. 

Keepers have kept a close eye on the new family during the baby’s important first few weeks, although staff are still uncertain about the one-month-old’s sex. 

Curator of mammals, Tim Rowlands, said:

“Both mum and dad are doing a great job of bringing up their new charge. Mum is super protective and dad is also pulling his weight – he occasionally helps to do some of the carrying.

“This is a critically endangered species. They face a very real threat of extinction in the wild and this is the first time the species has ever bred at Chester Zoo.”

In the wild the Alaotran gentle lemur is only found around Lake Alaotra in Madagascar. The species is being threatened by habitat destruction as the reed beds where it lives are being burned and the lake drained for rice irrigation. 

They are also caught for food and others are captured and sold as pets who rarely survive, meaning they are classed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). It is believed that just 2,500 remain in the wild. 

Gentle lemur facts 

  • Species: Alaotran gentle lemur
  • Wild Alaotran gentle lemurs are only found inhabiting the reed beds around Lake Alaotra in Madagascar
  • They are classed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN)
  • The species is being threatened by habitat destruction as the reed beds where it lives are being burned and the lake drained for rice irrigation
  • Just 2,500 are thought to remain in the wild
  • Mum: Molly, five-years-old, born 28/03/2009
  • Dad: Fady, three-years-old, born 13/11/2010
  • Baby: Born 06/06/2014