Endangered crowned lemur born at Zoo Atlanta has died

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Zoo Atlanta is reporting that the baby crowned lemur born on May 20 has died. The zoo issued the following statement:

We are heartbroken to share that the infant crowned lemur born on May 20, which we shared with you yesterday with such excitement and joy, was found deceased this afternoon.

While Sava is an experienced mother who has successfully reared three other offspring, infant mortality is not uncommon among lemur species, both in the wild and in human care. Newborn lemurs are very fragile, and the first few days of life are precarious for any baby animal.

We are saddened that we will not have the opportunity to watch this infant grow along with you, and are additionally devastated to lose a new member of an endangered species. Our thoughts are with our Primate Team, whose dedication and hard work make the loss of this new addition all the more difficult.


Zoo Atlanta is celebrating the birth of a crowned lemur.

The newborn was delivered via Cesarean section on May 20 to mother Sava after labor stalled, suggesting a breech presentation. The infant is the fourth surviving offspring of experienced parents Sava, 10, and male Xonsu, 11.

Crowned lemurs are found on the northernmost tip of Madagascar – the only place on Earth where the more than 100 known species of lemur are found. Madagascar is also home to some of Earth’s most threatened wildlife. 

Like all lemurs, crowned lemurs face pressing threats from habitat loss and habitat fragmentation as a result of slash-and-burn agriculture; charcoal production; and mining for gold and sapphires. Lemurs are also captured for the pet trade, despite the fact that, like all primates, they are not suitable pets.

Sava and her newborn are currently bonding behind the scenes in the Zoo’s lemur complex and in coming days, may be spotted in the Zoo’s Living Treehouse. The Living Treehouse, which also hosts a diversity of bird life, is home to two other lemur species: ringtailed lemurs, which are endangered, and black-and-white-ruffed lemurs, which are critically endangered.

As the weeks go by, the infant’s developing coloration will be the primary indicator of whether it is male or female. Females are primarily gray with orange crowns, while males are a darker red-brown in color, with black and orange crowns.