Baby black lemurs!

We’re thrilled to welcome not one, but two black lemur babies!

Twelve-year-old Barbara gave birth to twins a fortnight ago.

Both mum and babies are doing well and can be found in their enclosure opposite the chimpanzee paddock, alongside dad, 17-year-old Bryan.

The births are extra special to DZC as we’re the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) and International Studbook (ISB) holder for the species, which is overseen by Curator Richard Brown.

Richard, aided by Registrar Nicola Wright oversees hundreds of black lemurs in more than 75 collections worldwide. He studies their genetics and makes recommendations about which lemurs are suitable for breeding together.

Richard said: “Any birth of an endangered species is special, but two babies is fantastic and we hope in time they’ll both move on to other collections, where they’ll continue to play important roles in the captive population.

“We haven’t been able to confirm their sexes yet, as mum’s keeping them snuggled close on her abdomen, but despite their species name, females will turn brown a few weeks after birth, as only the males are black in colour, so they’ll soon reveal their own gender in time.”

Black lemurs are endemic to Madagascar and are under threat for food and the pet trade.