Call it a happy accident.
Little lemur Marie surprised veterinarians to become the newest addition to a North Carolina center that works to protect her species.
Mom Gertrude was on birth control so she wouldn’t conceive early on in her relationship with lemur Remus, the Duke Lemur Center announced on its website Thursday. It turns out contraceptives for lemurs aren’t always effective.
“Gertrude and Remus got along very well indeed!” said Dr. Cathy Williams, the center’s director of animal care and welfare, per the website. “Marie was the unexpected but very welcome result.”
In her first few weeks, the baby primate was seen clinging onto her mom and snuggling with a stuffed animal, the Duke Lemur Center said. Marie was the first baby born this season at the Durham facility, according to its post.
Marie is part of a family that has made its mark on the small screen, the center says. Her grandpa is the late Jovian, “star of the Kratt brothers’ beloved PBS children’s show “Zoboomafoo,” which aired from 1999 to 2001, according to the facility.
The newest lemur is a Coquerel’s sifaka, a “critically endangered” species that faces habitat loss in its native Madagascar, the center said. Greg Dye, executive director of Duke Lemur Center, said Marie’s “birth strengthens the genetic safety net” that helps preserve her species, according to the online post.
The tiny primate was less than 1 pound when she was born Feb. 23, and the family has “settled in well,” Williams said, per the website.
“Any first-time mom or dad knows how stressful figuring out how to be a good parent can be,” Dye said, according to the center. “To see these two first-time parents be so successful is a huge tribute to them and to the DLC’s amazing staff.”