Naples Zoo welcomes new endangered baby lemur

Reporter: Michelle Alvarez
Published: Updated:

Velo is a ring-tailed lemur and the newest member of the Naples Zoo family.

“We’re really excited,” said Rachel Kluge, the primate field supervisor at the zoo. “Actually, today is two weeks old for our little baby.”

Velo was born on March 22 in the middle of a rainstorm, and his parents, PJ and Julian, couldn’t be prouder.

“Ringtail lemurs are actually part of our SSP program. It’s simply [a] species survival plan. Basically, our two ringtail lemurs were genetically matched so that they could breed and help the population. So, through SSP, we paired them, and they were successful,” Velo explained.

She said PJ has been an exceptional mother, nurturing her little one and not leaving his side.

“She is amazing. She’s very attentive, caring, loving and our dad is actually doing a great job, too. It’s his first child, so, he’s very also attentive, kind of just watching mom and baby do their thing,” Kluge said.

The zoo even had a gender reveal to celebrate Velo’s birth.

“I think it’s awesome that they had a gender reveal for it,” said Sage Ostergren visiting from Connecticut. “That’s so cute.”

“I once did a school project on lemurs, and I think that they’re a very fascinating animal,” said Sydney Ostergren.

Lemurs are the most endangered mammal in the world.

“Having this baby, although he is absolutely adorable, it also is a really big deal to protect their species,” said Kluge.

As first-time parents, they have been giving them their space, but their primate expedition cruise has been granted clearance to pass by the island, giving guests the chance to catch a glimpse of this adorable lemur family.

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