A Sifaka was born at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, a rare happening for the species in captivity. The little fur ball was a healthy bab, born to mommy Wilhelmina and big poppa Rinaldo. The birth was the first for the species at the Cincinnati Zoo, which is renowned for its conservation efforts. There are less than 100 known Sifakas in captivity in the world. The creatures are large lemurs with a body built for a specialized type of vertical clinging and leaping motions.
The Sifaka family is doing well and now proudly on display at the expansive Jungle Trails area of the Ohio zoo. Sifakas are born one at a time and greet the world fully furred with their eyes open, according to officials at the Cincinnati animal facility.
Zoo Executive Director Thane Maynard had this to say about the rare birth:
“Not only is this species a rarity at the Cincinnati Zoo, but with only 54 individuals in captivity in the world, all at 10 Us zoos, this birth is rare and monumental for the species.”
Sifakas typically maintain an upright posture and use the powerful muscles in their legs to pounce from tree to tree. The species is routinely very active by day and nestle together in small groups near the tops of trees at night to sleep. The group snooze in the treetops is presumed to be an instinctive behavior to protect themselves from predators.
There are seven agreed upon species of Sifakas, according the Primate Fact Sheet website. The adorable little creatures stem primary from Madagascar and have been found in both dry and riparian forests near rivers.