Twin baby lemurs born at Hamilton Zoo

The lemur twins and their mum at Hamilton Zoo. Photo / Supplied
The lemur twins and their mum at Hamilton Zoo. Photo / Supplied

Two ring-tailed lemur babies have been welcomed into Hamilton Zoo's lemur troop.

The twins of unknown gender were born to mother Yetta last Wednesday.

Zoo curator Samantha Kudeweh said the pair was doing well.

"The twins are already quite active and have been out and about, socialising with the wider lemur group," she said.

Ring-tailed lemurs are natives of the African island of Madagascar. They spend more time on the ground than other lemur species and form the largest social groups.

The species is classified as near-threatened and its population has declined markedly in the last 25 years due to habitat destruction and exploitation by humans.

Hamilton Zoo has also welcomed two new ruru, or morepork, chicks - but in contrast to the adventurous lemurs, the shy native owls are yet to venture out of their nest box.

"Morepork chicks tend to leave the nest at around 5-6 weeks, however they might possibly be seen peering out over the next few weeks," Ms Kudeweh said.

"With morepork being New Zealand's only surviving native owl species, it is exciting to welcome these chicks at Hamilton Zoo and I am sure they'll steal the hearts of zoo visitors once they decide to venture out of the nest."

Ruru nest in holes and their diet includes small birds and mammals including mice and bats.

The ruru chicks' parents are both wild birds brought into Hamilton Zoo by members of the public after being found injured.

The mother had sustained an eye injury while the father fell out of a nest as a young bird.

Ruru are believed to be reasonably common, but their population is in decline due to habitat destruction and predation from introduced pests such as stoats and rats.

- APNZ

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