Maryland Zoo welcomes baby Nero

BALTIMORE - The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore announced the second birth of a male Coquerel sifaka, a lemur, that was born on Saturday, November 12, almost 9 months to the day that his brother Otto was born.

The Zoo's sifaka pair, Anastasia and Gratian are both parents of new baby Nero, who weighed 94 grams the day he was born, an average weight for sifaka.

" This baby weighs just a little less than his brother Otto did at birth, but still about the weight of a deck of cards," said Meredith Wagoner, mammal collection and conservation manager at the Zoo. "Sifaka are born with sparse hair and resemble tiny gremlins, however their white hair soon grows in and they begin to resemble their parents."

Newborn sifaka ride on their mother's belly for the first month before graduating to ride on her back. By two months, they have learned the basics of leaping, and claim the treetops as their own by about 6 months old, and reach adult size at 1 year.

"Infant mortality is pretty high - about one-third of babies die in the first year," said Wagoner, "Even though we know Anastasia was a good mother to Otto, we still need to monitor her and the new baby closely to watch for any signs of weakness. Fortunately, Anastasia is again proving to be a very attentive mother. The baby is eating well and showing appropriate signs of growth."

Gratian has also taken an interest in the baby, although sifaka fathers do not closely assist with the childbearing. "In the wild, sifaka live in social groups of three to ten animals, with a diversity of gender and age," continued Wagoner, "So, we anticipate keeping this family group together for quite some time."

To learn more about baby Nero click here .

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