Bloomingdale-Riverview residents visiting Busch Gardens may have a chance to see a rare sight.
Earlier this month, witnessed an uncommon event: the birth of mongoose lemur twins.
On April 6, the two babies were born to 17-year-old mother Rosalita and 18-year-old father Guillermo. Rosalita’s first baby—a male named Duggan—was also born at Busch Gardens and moved to another zoo for breeding.
Mongoose lemurs are classified as a “vulnerable” species, and Busch Gardens takes part in Species Survival Plans (SSP) initiated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to cooperatively manage breeding programs for threatened or endangered species in accredited institutions.
Busch Gardens zoo staff aren’t yet sure if the new babies are male or female. All baby mongoose lemurs look the same at birth, but around 6-8 months of age, males start to change color and develop their red “beard” and cheeks. Females have a darker face and white beard.
The mongoose lemur, like all lemurs, is indigenous to the island of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, but it is one of only two species of lemur to also live in an area outside the island; mongoose lemurs can be found on the Comoros Islands between Madagascar and Africa.
Guests can see Busch Gardens’ mongoose lemurs and the new babies at Curiosity Caverns, located near Jambo Junction and the Nairobi Train Station. Listen for their unique vocalizations, which sound like pigs oinking.