Crowned Lemurs Make their Home at Oakland Zoo

Male Crowned Lemur at Oakland Zoo. Photo by Steven Gotz

“We are excited to be able to provide a great home for this pair of Crowned Lemurs. They will be a fantastic addition to our Lemur Habitat and help educate the zoo guests about some of the fantastic diversity in the Lemur family,” – Adam Fink, Zoological Manager, Oakland Zoo.

A new species of lemur to Oakland Zoo, called Crowned Lemurs, is now on exhibit at Oakland Zoo. The new lemurs join the two current resident species of Ring-tailed and Blue-eyed black lemurs in the Zoo’s lemur habitat. The new lemurs, one female (age 15) and one male (age 14), came to Oakland Zoo under unique and rare circumstances.

“These two lemurs were successfully introduced at the previous zoo they lived, however, when they went out on exhibit the male swam across the (barrier) moat! Lemurs typically don’t swim, but this male does, so they couldn’t stay at that zoo. We were lucky to have space and be in the position to take them; we felt this pair was a good match for us,” said Adam Fink, Zoological Manager, Oakland Zoo.

The new lemurs are taking their time exploring their new (moat-less) habitat and getting used to their new cohabitant lemur species. Zookeepers have made some habitat modifications to help with their transition by adding more perching to their night house and a bridge from their night house door to the top of the habitat to help facilitate their exploration. These are an arboreal species that likes to stay off the ground more than other lemurs, so the extra changes are an appropriate and enriching addition.

Crowned lemurs can be exclusively found in the wild in the Northern region of Madagascar and are one the many endangered species of these unique primates. Their native habitat is shrinking and becoming increasingly fragmented due to slash and burn agriculture and increasing population.

The complex social hierarchy of lemurs require zookeepers to currently manage the three species in rotation from their habitat to their nighthouse. Zookeepers are practicing cooperative feeding with new pair and the other lemurs to accustom them to one another. The ultimate goal and expectation is to soon have them all on exhibit together as one group.

“We are excited to be able to provide a great home for this pair of Crowned Lemurs. They will be a fantastic addition to our Lemur Habitat and help educate the zoo guests about some of the fantastic diversity in the Lemur family,” – Adam Fink, Zoological Manager, Oakland Zoo.

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ABOUT OAKLAND ZOO:

The Bay Area’s award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 700 native and exotic animals. Oakland Zoo is dedicated to the humane treatment of animals and wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide; with 25¢ from each ticket donated to support conservation partners and programs around the world.

The zoo’s California Trail exhibit, opening in 2018, brings to life the rich natural history of California in a whole new way. Designed to be more like a wild animal park, California Trail will feature America’s western region’s historic and iconic animal species in large exhibits, including grey wolves, grizzly bears, mountain lions, bald eagles, California condors and black bears. Through the California Trail experience, Oakland Zoo presents a dynamic and inspiring story about finding balance in how we steward our state’s natural legacy. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 500-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks. For more information, go to http://www.oaklandzoo.org.

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