Nashville Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of four red ruffed lemurs on Tuesday, May 30. The male, named Emilio, and three females named Demi, Ally, and Andie are the second group of lemurs to be born at Nashville Zoo since the Zoo moved to the Grassmere property in 1996.
They four baby lemurs are named after the Brat Pack. This was a group of young actors who frequently appeared together in teen-oriented films in the 80s, like Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo's Fire and The Breakfast Club. The only other girl was Molly Ringwald, but since one of our spider monkeys is named Molly, we used one of the boy's names for one of the new girls -Andie.
This is the second litter for nine year old mom, Lyra. With the addition of the four babies, the Zoo is now home to nine red ruffed lemurs. The babies weighed roughly 75 - 90 grams each at birth and approximately 8-10 inches long.
Unlike other primate species, red ruffed lemurs do not carry their young. Instead, they keep their young in a nest nursing and caring for them until they are more independent and mobile. Zoo guests can see their three older siblings and dad, Dino, on exhibit along Bamboo Trail. The four newest additions will remain indoors with mom until they are old enough to venture outside which zookeepers estimate to be in about a month.
Red ruffed lemurs are one of more than 100 species of lemurs on the island of Madagascar and are considered critically endangered in the wild due to habitat loss, illegal hunting and pet trade. Nashville Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan for this species to increase the captive population. The Zoo also contributes financially to SAVA Conservation which works on saving the lemur species in the wild.