The addition to the family of cat lemurs of Moscow zoo
This spring, our young lemurs gave birth to two cubs: the first was born on March 11 and the second one on May 5. The babies have a common father - a male named Funtik, and their mothers are Mira and Bella, young females who came to Moscow zoo in 2016 from Novosibirsk. Already now both cubs can be seen in the outdoor enclosure in front of the "House of monkeys", where a group of cat lemurs spends almost a whole day. The eldest of them is already beginning to show some independence, and the youngest spends all his time, closely nestled up to the mother’s belly and firmly grasping her thick hair.
Now the weight of the oldest cub is about 300 g, he actively explores the world and curiously communicates with his relatives. He is trying adult food, in just a couple of weeks he will have the same diet as that of his relatives. By the way, the "menu" of cat lemurs is quite diverse, it includes all kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables (broccoli and celery are especially popular with these animals), quail eggs, greens, sunflower seeds, nuts, boiled meat, insects and their larvae (in particular locusts). Lemurs also like to eat young grass, and they receive special mineral supplements every day as well. The youngest cub still eats only mother's milk, and he will begin to show interest in adult food not earlier than at the age of one month. Other members of the group belong to small lemurs with curiosity and friendliness. As soon as the cubs grow up, they will be able to ride on the backs of their older relatives and play with them.
Cat lemurs are listed in the International Red Book as a species close to the threat of extinction. In nature, they live exclusively in the south and south-west of Madagascar. In recent years, their number is reduced due to poaching. Because of their spectacular and unusual appearance, lemurs often get on the black market and are very popular among sellers of exotic fauna. After the release of the famous “Madagascar” cartoon franchise, many people began to house lemurs as non-standard pets, but such cases always have a deplorable outcome: cat lemurs are wild animals whose maintenance is unacceptable at home. Lemurs need a specialized diet, proper care and living conditions that cannot be created in a city apartment or house. In addition, lemurs are very social animals: in nature, representatives of this species live in groups, the size of which reaches several dozen individuals.
To save the cat lemurs from extinction, the European programme for the establishment of artificial population of this species was created. Its main goal is to form a stable and genetically diverse population of feline lemurs in zoos so that, if necessary, be able to restore a declining natural population. Moscow zoo is among the participants of this program. Our specialists managed to create optimal conditions for the maintenance and reproduction of cat lemurs. For the last five years, they regularly produce offspring, and their grown cubs go to the leading zoos of Russia and Europe.
Already today, guests of the zoo can watch the daily activities of cat lemurs and admire the newborn babies. The animals will walk in a spacious outdoor enclosure all summer, and with the onset of the first cold weather they will move to a closed warm enclosure, where they can also be visited.