A pair of baby lemurs have made their first public appearance at Canberra’s National Zoo and Aquarium after they were born last week.
In a brief outing cut short by some unexpected hail on Thursday, the 80-gram twins clung to their mother’s stomach as keepers smeared banana and other treats around the enclosure to give a glimpse of the babies to excited kids and media.
The ring-tailed lemurs are the third pair in 18 months for experienced mum Lily, but shortly after they were born, keepers found them alone on the floor with their mum apparently showing no interest in them.
After zoo staff intervened, mum and babies are closer than ever.
“At the moment they’re still suckling, but they actually eat solid foods really quickly and they grow really quickly,” said zookeeper Rachael Thomas.
“In about six weeks they’ll start eating solid food and they become a lot more exploratory than before.”
But motherhood wasn’t all smooth sailing. As the babies become more active, Lily sometimes struggles to walk because her babies position themselves in awkward places.
“She’s had the last four tend to stick to her stomach for the first few weeks, whereas these guys she’s had them in her armpits, on her head, on her back,” Ms Thomas said.
“These two babies are a lot more active than the last four.”
The endangered animals, native to the island of Madagascar, are probably best known for appearing in the 2005 animated film of the same name.
The baby lemurs can be seen in the ringtailed lemur enclosure at the National Zoo and Aquarium.