Far from their homeland in Madagascar, five lemurs were born in an exhibit at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) Bronx Zoo.
Three red ruffed lemurs, 1 collared lemur and 1 Coquerel’s sifaka, all primates endemic to Madagascar, were born recently, the zoo announced today.
The exhibit is called "Madagascar!" and it "is proving to be an ideal habitat for its inhabitants as they settle in and raise their young,” said Jim Breheny, director of the Bronx Zoo. “The birth of these lemurs is testament to the fact that the animals are feeling secure and comfortable in their exhibits.”
The exhibit is designed to educate people about conservation issues facing this island nation located off the coast of Africa.
According to a study conducted by Randi Korn and Associates (partially funded by National Science Foundation) the exhibit is successful at helping visitors develop new understandings about conservation in Madagascar. For example, after experiencing the exhibit, the majority of visitors could explain the roles of scientists working in Madagascar and their effect on conservation, according to a statement from the zoo today. Prior to visiting the exhibit, 70 percent of visitors could not express how conservationists protect Madagascar.
“Our visitors enter the exhibit enthusiastic to see strange new animals, like lemurs and fossa, and they emerge with a deeper appreciation and understanding of the island’s incredibly unique biodiversity and threats and challenges faced by animals living as part of an island ecology,” said Breheny. “They emerge as citizen conservationists, as potential partners with WCS’s efforts to save wildlife and wild places.”
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