A RARE black lemur has been born at Drusillas Park in East Sussex.
The young male has been called Tsito by zoo keepers and is making good progress under the watchful guidance of proud parents, Clementine and Lotfi.
Male black lemurs are all black with striking eyes, whilst females have a brown back, pale belly and whitish ear tufts. They are native to the forest areas of northern Madagascar where they are considered a vulnerable species, mainly due to hunting and the destruction of the habitat in which they live.
Sue Woodgate, zoo manager, said: “We are so excited at the arrival of Tsito. He is a very cheeky little chap and can be seen playing with the ring-tailed lemurs and his Dad in Lemurland while Mum takes a break from her parenting duties.”
Clementine arrived at the end of 2009 from Park Zoo in Portugal, followed closely by Lofti from Friguia Zoo in Tunisia. The pair were brought together at Drusillas as part of the European Endangered Species Programme coordinated by EAZA (The European Association of Zoos and Aquaria).
Black lemurs give birth to one or two babies at a time and the youngsters are carried around by their mother for up to six months. Tsito is growing in confidence daily and has just started to come off Clementine’s back for short periods of time, exploring the trees and ropes at Drusillas. He has also begun eating small amounts of solid food, with his particular favourite being pear.
(Photo by Dean Thorpe)