Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Welcomes New Babies to the Park

Busch Gardens Tampa is celebrating the birth of two endangered red-ruffed lemurs, also known as two of the cutest things on the face of the earth. The babies were born on April 21 to proud parents Maditra (mom) and Bozeny (dad). The two curious little creatures are the first lemurs to be born at Jambo Junction, the home of Busch Gardens Animal Ambassadors, since mom and dad lemur arrived as babies themselves three years ago.

The babies are still too young to be sexed, so naming will probably be held off for a while. Trainers at the park are happy to report that the little ones are doing well and developing more every day. They are learning to be brave and curious, and have a great time exploring their enclosure under the watchful eyes of Maditra and Bozeny. The kids are a bouncing half and pound or so each, which is considerably larger than the 80 grams they were at birth! Eventually, they will grow to reach 8 to 10 pounds as adults.

Red-ruffed lemurs are just one species of this group of primates -- like humans, apes and monkeys -- native to the island of Madagascar. Madagascar is the only place in the world where lemurs live in the wild and every single species of lemur (50 that we know of) is on the endangered species list. Five different species of lemur live at Busch Gardens Tampa.

The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund works to help save endangered and threatened species of animals, including lemurs. The group is a non-profit, private charitable foundation that was founded in 2005. To date, it was donated more than $6 million to projects around the world in support of wildlife and habitat conservation, education, research, and animal rescue and rehabilitation programs.


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