Cuteness overload at Hamilton Zoo as variety of babies born

Lemur numbers have been boosted at Hamilton Zoo after a birth at the weekend, the latest in a number of new arrivals.

As well as the ring-tailed lemur, two pygmy marmosets - the smallest monkey in the world - were also born at the weekend, the first born at the zoo.

The births followed a long line of new arrivals, including two meerkats last month - the first in two years - a zebra in July, a rhino in June and a bison in May.

Hamilton Zoo curator Catherine Nichols said it was a boost for the zoo as Conservation Week festivities begin on Saturday.

A baby pygmy marmoset - one of the smallest monkeys in the world - chills out after being born at Hamilton Zoo at the weekend. Photo / Hamilton Zoo
A baby pygmy marmoset - one of the smallest monkeys in the world - chills out after being born at Hamilton Zoo at the weekend. Photo / Hamilton Zoo

Conservation Week was an important event for Hamilton Zoo, she said, as it celebrated native species, exotic animals and all aspects of the natural environment.

"This year's theme is 'Get Into Nature', and Hamilton Zoo's support of the event includes the popular Face2Face encounters with ring-tailed lemurs.

"The ring-tailed lemur was born very early in the season, bringing the total number in the exhibit to 12.

"It's important that we help the endangered ring-tailed lemurs wherever we can as their population is still decreasing," Nichols says.

"We can't promise that Mum Noelle will bring her little one to the encounter, as interactions with visitors are always on the animals' terms, however if you're patient you should be able to see them."

The meerkat pups were a particular highlight as they were the first meerkats born at Hamilton Zoo since January 2014.

Two baby meerkats enjoy a run around at Hamilton Zoo this week after their birth last month. Photo / Hamilton Zoo
Two baby meerkats enjoy a run around at Hamilton Zoo this week after their birth last month. Photo / Hamilton Zoo

Their birth brings the total number to seven.

"These little guys are already spending plenty of time out in their enclosure, and easily spotted as they're much smaller than the rest. They're becoming quite inquisitive already, which keeps the rest of the mob on their toes," Nichols says.

The zoo team was excited to be helping increase the population of pygmy marmosets - one of the smallest primates in the world.

Mum Picchu and Dad Salvador share the parenting duties with Dad carrying the twins most of the time and only handing them back for nursing.

"The tiny twosome weighed around 13g each at birth and with a keen eye, you may be able to spot them on Dad's back, camouflaged into his fur," Nichols says.

Conservation Week runs from September 10 to 18 with the zoo offering a 25 per cent discount for bus travellers to the zoo.

For the full range of activities, which include extra native species focussed keeper talks and encounters, visit hamiltonzoo.co.nz

- NZ Herald

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