May 14, 2014
Say “hello” to one of the zoo’s newest residents! Ombe the male lemur joined females Cushla and Kyna last November. Now two years of age, Ombe is fitting right in. Zoo keepers have observed him acclimating to his new troop.
“Ombe developed a strong bond with Kyna right away. They spend a lot of time together and he also interacts with Cushla,” states zoo keeper Helena Lacey.
Prior to zoo opening, zoo keepers worked with Ombe using positive reinforcement. “We trained Ombe with small approximations – small steps,” Lacey explains. “Training an animal to willingly move from one location to another is helpful for the times when they have to move indoors because of cold weather.”
A really big island Off the coast of eastern Africa, the ring-tailed lemur lives on the large island of Madagascar. They live mainly in forested areas.
What do they eat? Lemurs munch on fruit, leaves, bark, flowers, grass, and tree sap. Lemurs eat by holding food with their front feet.
The lemur look Lemurs’ bodies are covered with soft, thick, brown-grey fur that is very pale on their chest and stomach. Preening takes up much time of a lemur’s time.
All three of the zoo’s lemurs display the typical lemur look, but zoo keepers can easily tell them apart. Lacey explains that “Cushla is the easiest to spot because of her short tail. Kyna has a small, narrow face and Ombe is fluffy and handsome.”
Swift movers Ring-tailed lemurs are active both during the day and at night. Although they live mainly on the ground, they are very comfortable moving around in treetops. Lemurs escape to these treetops when threatened. They will defend their territory and signal alarm with loud calls.
Uncertain future Less than 10% of Madagascar’s original forest cover remains, putting all 30 species of lemurs in jeopardy. The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is committed to the conservation of wild animals and wild places. Learn more here.
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