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Exhibit highlights two endangered species of lemurs from Madagascar.

Lemurs Leap Into the Zoo

A black and white ruffed lemur. Photo by Lynn Tupa/ABQ BioPark.

August 28, 2012

Lemurs have moved into the ABQ BioPark Zoo. A pair of black and white ruffed lemurs and a pair of blue-eyed black lemurs are now on exhibit near Nightwatch across from Koala Creek. The lemurs are most active in the cooler morning hours. Join us to welcome the lemurs and discover why these mammals are famous world-wide.

The lemurs arrived from the Bronx Zoo in New York in late July and have had several weeks in quarantine, getting to know their keepers and exhibit. These popular primates lived at the Zoo in the past, and animal care staff knew they would be a great fit for the exhibit that opened up when the tree kangaroos moved into Koala Creek earlier this year. The lemurs eat fruits, veggies, greens and a primate biscuit that is specially-formulated to keep them healthy and active.

"The Zoo staff is very excited to work with lemurs again and tell their unique stories to our guests," said Lynn Tupa, Zoo Manager. "Both of these species are endangered in the wild, and we can all do our part to conserve resources and protect their habitat in Madagascar."

Lemurs exist only on the island of Madagascar, off the east coast of Africa. They are vulnerable to deforestation, poaching, and killing for the bush meat trade. Seventeen lemur species are endangered; several others have declining populations.

Although lemurs can walk on four limbs, they prefer to leap, hopping on long hind legs over great distances. Lemurs are an ancient family of primates, with evidence of ancestors dating back 40 million years ago. Long separated from Africa's mainland, the lemurs developed the unique structures and characteristics seen today.

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