There are lots of different wild creatures around the Rockford area, but the newest and most adorable among them can only be found at Summerfield Zoo.

That new and adorable addition to Summerfield is a 6-ounce baby ring-tailed lemur. Lemurs are from Madagascar, where they've become endangered as their natural habitat decreases.

Their population in the wild has dwindled down to about 2,000 lemurs, but they breed very well in captivity, and have numbers exceeding the 2,000 found in the wild.

A couple of things to know before you head out and visit Summerfield's lemur habitat, from Wikipedia:

The ring-tailed lemur is highly social, living in groups of up to 30 individuals. It is also female dominant, a trait common among lemurs. To keep warm and reaffirm social bonds, groups will huddle together. The ring-tailed lemur will also sunbathe, sitting upright facing its underside, with its thinner white fur towards the sun. Like other lemurs, this species relies strongly on its sense of smell and marks its territory with scent glands. The males perform a unique scent marking behavior called spur marking and will participate in stink fights by impregnating their tail with their scent and wafting it at opponents.

As one of the most vocal primates, the ring-tailed lemur uses numerous vocalizations including group cohesion and alarm calls. Experiments have shown that the ring-tailed lemur, despite the lack of a large brain (relative to simiiform primates), can organize sequences, understand basic arithmetic operations and preferentially select tools based on functional qualities.


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