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Four Red Ruffed
born at San Jose's Happy Hollow Zoo, Calif.
June 8, 2009
"the Happy Hollow Park & Zoo publicly declared the May 17 births of four baby Red Ruffed lemurs. "They're a whole lot of fun to watch,'' said zoo curator Valerie Riegel. "Today mom, brought them out into the sunshine. It's neat to see what a great job she's doing as a first-time mom.'' Riegel was referring to Meva, the 9-year-old mother, who has been busy nursing her healthy litter, as she nourishes herself on mangos, watermelon and apples. Meva has also been protecting her babies from Dad. She's been slapping and boxing 26-year-old father Achelous, if he tries to peek in the nest to see his offspring. "Lemurs are a female dominated society,'' Riegel said. Unfortunately, the public will have to wait until spring 2010 to see the lemurs in person. Happy Hollow is now closed because the zoo is undergoing a $72 million renovation. The upgrades will include an area called Lemur Woods complete with a play area for anyone to climb, jump, "and act like a lemur,'' said Shannon Heimer, education coordinator. Until then, lemur-lovers will soon be able to view photos on the zoo's Web site, and sign up on Facebook for an upcoming formal birth announcement. A lemur video is possibly in the works, too, said zoo spokeswoman Vanessa Rogier. What makes this especially exciting news for Happy" -
"The babies, two females and two males, have become more visible as the mother has started to leave the nest box for small periods at a time. No names have been announced. The births are also a first for the new parents. Meva, the 9-year old mother who came from the Micke Grove Zoo in Lodi one year ago while the father, Achelous, 26, has been at Happy Hollow since 1990. Meva is part of the Ruffed lemur Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums dedicated to long-term management and conservation of the lemur. Red Ruffed lemurs are listed as endangered, due to habitat loss, hunting, and the pet trade as primary threats. The exact status of the animals in the wild is not fully known.."
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