CHESTER, UK (KFOR/Storyful) – Incredibly cute video shows a tiny head with great big eyes, peeking out from underneath its mother’s belly. It is a critically endangered “dancing lemur,” named for the way the primates leap, as seen in the video at the top of this story.
“Dancing Lemur” is a nickname for the Coquerel’s sifaka lemur, and zoo officials say there are only seven of its species being cared for in zoos in Europe.
The newest infant was just born at the Chester Zoo in the United Kingdom in December of 2022, though video of the baby lemur was just released.
“It’s really exciting to be the first team of conservationists in Europe to successfully breed this unusual and extremely rare primate,” said Mark Brayshaw, curator of mammals at the Chester Zoo.
The curious little bundle was born to Beatrice and Elliot, who were transported from a zoo in the US 18 months earlier, and transported to the UK to set up a conservation breeding program, which has now proven to be successful.
“While it’s still early days, both mum and baby are doing great. Beatrice is feeding her new arrival regularly and is keeping it nestled in her fur as she leaps from tree to tree. In a few weeks’ time, the baby will graduate to riding on her back, before branching out and learning to climb trees independently at around six months old. It won’t be long until this bright-eyed baby will be bouncing 20ft between tree to tree just like its parents,” Brayshaw said.
According to the Zoo, the Coquerel’s sifaka lemur population in Madagascar has declined by 80-percent in the past three decades due to widespread deforestation.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature has listed the species as critically endangered.