April 16, 2023
Cape May County Park & Zoo has welcomed two adorable new animals just in time for ideal zoo-visiting conditions throughout the warmer months of spring and summer.
The new additions to the South Jersey zoo are a baby ring-tailed lemur, born last month at the zoo, and a female North American river otter who arrived from the Kansas City Zoo.
MORE: Cape May Zoo to permanently close its aviary, relocate birds across U.S.
On March 16, Cape May Zoo's ring-tailed lemur "Falana" gave birth to her second baby with mate "Darwin." The pair previously had a male baby together last March.
"As is typically the case, mom is taking very good care of her new baby and is holding it very tight," Dr. Alex Ernst, the zoo's associate veterinarian, said. "Through observations we can see that the baby is strong and is nursing well but don’t yet know the gender.”
Young ring-tailed lemurs nurse for about four to six months, but are able to climb around by a month old. The little bundle of joy has continued to cross milestones, as the zoo announced Friday that the lemur baby has climbed aboard Falana's back for "a better view of the world."
Ring-tailed lemurs, considered an endangered species, weigh between 5 and 7 pounds with tails that measure up to 22 inches long. In the wild, they live in the dry forest and bush of Madagascar in "troops" with up to 30 members, with one female presiding over all.
The Cape May Zoo's troop of ring-tailed lemurs is led by a female named "Lily." Visitors can see the troop, which includes Falana and her growing family, daily in the zoo's Ring-tailed Lemur habitat.
In addition to the yet-unnamed baby lemur, zoo guests can also visit "Ariel," a North American river otter that joined Cape May Zoo last month after arriving from Kansas City.
River otters, which can weigh up to 25 pounds, are found throughout Canada and the northern U.S., down the east coast to Florida. Despite the name "river otter," the species can be found in both fresh water and salt water environments.
Ariel, a 14-year-old female, was sent to the zoo as a companion for male river otter "Mork,” who turned 14 in February. Staff worked for several weeks to introduce the pair, and they now spend days hanging out in their habitat's yard together.
"We are happy to report that ‘Ariel’ and ‘Mork’ have formed a friendship and can be seen together every day in our North American River Otter habitat," Ernst said.
The Park & Zoo, located at 707 US-9 North in Cape May Court House, is free to enter and is open every day. The County Parks are open from 7 a.m. until dusk, and the Zoo is open from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
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