First born at Sacramento Zoo this year are leaping lemurs

01/14/2014 12:31 PM

10/08/2014 11:47 AM

The first arrival of the year at the Sacramento Zoo is a bouncing baby boy.

On Jan. 5, sharp-eyed zookeepers discovered that a 4.2 ounce Coquerel’s Sifaka lemur was born. While he is still growing and bonding with his parents, he’s bound to be bounding soon.

The legs of a Sifaka are extremely long in relation to their bodies and arms. Using those powerful back legs, the lemurs travel through the forest jumping from one tree limb to another – sometime leaping 20 feet in a single bound.

Their legs are so long that they can’t run on all fours. Instead, they spring sideways to cover distance.

Zoo officials said there are only 10,000 Coqueral’s Sifaka living in the wild, the only colony located in a small area of northwestern Madagascar. The lemurs are endangered due to deforestation.

Nine accredited facilities in the United States house fewer than 60 Coqueral’s Sifaka. The Sacramento Zoo participates in species survival plans initiated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums for animals such as the Coqueral’s Sifaka.

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