BALTIMORE (WJZ/MARYLAND ZOO IN BALTIMORE)— The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore welcomes two ring-tailed lemurs. This is a new species for the zoo, which already has red ruffed lemurs and Coquerel’s sifaka on exhibit.
Ring-tailed lemurs, 8-year-old Alexander and 6-year-old Fern, recently arrived at the zoo from Duke Lemur Center in Durham, N.C.
They spent 30 days in quarantine, following normal protocols when moving new animals into the zoo. Now they live in a new outdoor enclosure called “Lemur Lane.”
“We are very excited to introduce this new lemur species to our visitors,” Mike McClure, general curator at the Maryland Zoo, said in a news release. “These two lemurs are very active and very curious about their new surroundings. They are a great addition to the zoo, and I am sure they will become quite popular with our visitors.”
Similar in size to the Coquerel’s sifaka, ring-tailed lemurs stand about 18” tall and weigh between five and eight pounds. They are predominantly grey with black facial markings and a unique, long black-and-white banded tail. While they are tree-dwellers, ring-tails spend a good deal of time on the ground foraging for fruit. They also eat flowers, leaves, tree bark and sap. Like all lemur species, they are endangered in the wild largely due to habitat loss.
The new ring-tailed lemur exhibit was donated by recently retired Maryland Zoo volunteer Kris Bowling.