Infant lemur dies at Sacramento Zoo

The infant lemur born earlier this year at the Sacramento Zoo has died from pneumonia.

The arrival of the infant was hailed on Jan. 5 when zookeepers discovered that a 4.2 ounce Coquerel's Sifaka lemur had been born.

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.

Since birth, the staff has been watching the infant’s weight. Daily weight gain was not enough as staff wanted so they began conferring with experts and supplementing the tiny lemur’s daily diet.

The lemur was nursing and developing well under his parents care, according to a zoo press release.

However, on Friday, the little lemur was diagnosed with pneumonia and placed in the hospital intensive care unit. He died on Sunday.

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.

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