NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Nashville Zoo is gearing up to welcome baby red-ruffed lemurs.
The lemurs are often confused with red pandas because of their red fur. Nashville Zoo is home to three of them, two males named Apollo and Emilio and one female named Phoebe who is going to have some babies soon.
“We have two babies that we saw on the ultrasound. She’s a first-time mom, so we are super excited for her. We have a first-time dad, as well. The dad is actually Emilio, our youngest Lemur who is five years old,” said Tatum Davis, Nashville Zoo Primate Keeper.
Davis said her birth window is April 16th through the 24th.
“We’re just going to keep a really good eye on her and make sure she gets all the care she needs,” added Davis.
Davis said Phoebe cooperates with a voluntary ultrasound which she demonstrated for News 2.
“We were able to touch her stomach fully and palpitate her stomach. And with the ultra-sound device, we were able to see the babies inside of her,” Davis showed us. “You can see that she is very comfortable with me touching her. We worked really hard to get there. So, we’re just really proud of her.”
As for the dad, Apollo, Davis said he likes to relax up in the trees for “sun praising.”
“That’s a really good sunny spot for them. They love to open up their stomachs. Their stomachs are black. So, they can get the most heat from there. So, when he’s doing that, he’s just getting all the sun and getting warm,” said Davis.
Red-ruffed lemurs are considered critically endangered in the wild due to habitat loss, illegal hunting, and pet trade.
Nashville Zoo participates in the AZA species survival plan for these lemurs to increase in the captive population.
News 2 has partnered with Nashville Zoo to bring you weekly segments of Zoopalooza. You can watch them on News 2 on Good Morning Nashville on Saturday and right here on WKRN.com.