On May 4th, in the middle of the night, our crowned lemurs Sava and Xonsu welcomed an infant. Infant lemurs spend a lot of time attached to their mothers, and in fact usually don’t even try to explore away from mom until they are 2 months old. While we did know the infant’s sex before now, we wanted to wait to announce that news on the same day a name was announced – today!
Crowned lemurs are very special in the fact that they are one of very few lemur species that are sexually dimorphic. This means that males and females physically appear different from one another in an obvious way. Female crowned lemurs are gray in color with a light brown patch on their backs, while males are a brown- orange color with a black crown on their heads. When crowned lemurs are born, they are born completely gray no matter what sex they are, so that way they can blend in with Mom. When Sava and Xonsu’s infant was about a month old, we started noticing that the tail was starting to turn brown in color. Eventually over time the infant’s whole body started turning brown and a black crown appeared on its head.
We can confidently say that we have a little baby boy lemur! We are all so excited about having a male infant lemur, but also having an infant lemur born on May 4th, Star Wars Day! To go along with that theme, we all decided that a Star Wars name would be the most appropriate. Just four days before the infant was born, actor Peter Mayhew passed away. He was most well known for playing Chewbacca in the Star Wars movies. We thought it would be most fitting to name the male infant Chewie!
Next time you are at the Zoo, make sure to stop by and say hi to Chewie!
Keeper I, Primates
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