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Published on May 23, 2024
Rare Conservation Triumph as Endangered Crowned Lemur Born at Zoo AtlantaSource: Peachtree City

Zoo Atlanta is basking in the glow of a conservation win with the birth of a rare crowned lemur, born via Cesarean section after the mother's labor had stalled. The new member of the endangered species arrived on Monday and is the fourth offspring for parents Sava, 10, and Xonsu, 11, as reported by WRDW.

Facing extinction, the prized birth represents more than a new life; it stands as a beacon of hope for the species plagued by habitat loss due to practices like slash-and-burn agriculture, and the pet trade, according to Fox 5 Atlanta. The infant—and Sava—are behind the scenes right now but will soon join the Zoo's visible menagerie.

The crowned lemur's place of origin, Madagascar, is a unique and biodiverse landscape, marred by the threats of mining and agricultural conversion that push wildlife into ever-smaller patches. In Madagascar, lemurs' unique choreography of existence is being disrupted, affecting over 100 known species of these fascinating primates.

Sam Rivera, the zoo’s vice president of animal health, shared jubilation over the event, saying, "It is always a cause for celebration and hope when a population of an endangered species gains another member," according to WRDW. The pair of parents were matched under an initiative managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan, aimed at ensuring diverse and healthy populations in conservation care.

As juvenile crowned lemurs grow, their distinct color patterns emerge, revealing their sex—grays and oranges for females, red-brown with black and orange crowns for males. The public may catch a glimpse of the mother and baby duo at the Zoo's Living Treehouse in the days ahead, a space that mirrors their natural ecosystem and also houses other endangered lemurs and a variety of birds.