pierivb / Getty
Every adorable baby animal born in springtime is cause for celebration, but especially so when the newborn is a member of an endangered species!
On April 12, an infant crowned lemur was born at Georgia's Zoo Atlanta, the facility announced on Tuesday. Since crowned lemurs are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the yet-to-be-named primate's arrival is big news for conservation advocates and animal lovers alike.
"The birth of every newborn animal at the Zoo is cause for celebration, but the birth of an endangered species is always a new occasion for hope," says Jennifer Mickelberg, Ph.D., Vice President of Zoo Atlanta's Collections and Conservation in a statement.
Crowned lemurs' natural habitat is far from the facilities where the newborn made their entrance. Like all other lemurs, these fascinating primates are found in only one place on Earth: Madagascar. The island country is an incredibly diverse ecosystem for plants and animals, but is also home to some of the world's most threatened wildlife. This makes programs like the Species Survival Plan (SSP) that this baby lemur's parents are part of so important to the health and survival of future generations.
"Like all lemurs, crowned lemurs face pressing threats from habitat loss and habitat fragmentation as a result of slash-and-burn agriculture; charcoal production; and mining for gold and sapphires. Lemurs are also captured for the pet trade, despite the fact that, like all primates, they are not suitable pets," according to a statement from Zoo Atlanta.
Both the yet-to-be-named baby crowned lemur and parents Sava and Xonsu are doing well. The zoo says visitors may catch a glimpse of the little one alongside its parents and older brother Chewie in the facility's Living Treehouse area, which is also home to ringtailed lemurs (another endangered species), and black-and-white-ruffed lemurs (a critically endangered species).