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Czech News in English » Life » Rare Sclater's lemur born in Czech zoo

Rare Sclater’s lemur born in Czech zoo

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Ostrava, North Moravia, April 11 (CTK) – A young blue-eyed black lemur, an extremely rare primate also known as Sclater’s lemur, was recently born in the Ostrava zoo that waited for its arrival for eight years, the zoo’s spokeswoman Sarka Novakova told CTK yesterday.

Sclater’s lemur is one of the world’s most endangered primates. It is rare not only in the wild but also in zoological gardens, Novakova said.

Ostrava is the only Czech zoo to keep the species, and it is the rarest animal it has, she added.

The mother of the young is a 21-year-old female who gave birth and successfully raised the first Sclater’s lemur, a male, in the Ostrava zoo in 2009.

Afterwards, the mother had several other young but all stillborn. With her rising age, her chance of raising a young was declining, Novakova said.

In recent years, the situation of the lemur population in Europe, comprised of about 30 specimen, was unfavourable all over the continent, with only one or two young lemurs being born annually. That is why the coordinator of the Sclater’s lemur salvation programme has organised swaps among zoos aimed to replace one of the partners in the couples that failed to have offspring together, Novakova said.

She said the visitors can already see the lemur family in the pavilion of primates, and when the weather is fine, the lemur mother takes her young out to an open-air enclosure.

Every new offspring carries a great hope for the salvation of the primate, which is the only one with blue eyes, apart from man, and which is threatened with extinction, Novakova added.

In the wild habitat in Madagascar, the Sclater’s lemur population is estimated at 3,000.

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