We have five red-bellied lemurs here at Edinburgh Zoo. Gizmo the female was born at Linton Zoo in April 2009 and Bart the male, arrived here in June 2012 from Jardin Zoologique Tropical, La Londe in the south of France are our breeding pair and we currently have three of their offspring, two males and one female.
Our red-bellied lemurs can be found in the Monkey House
Breeding Programme Category:
Our red-bellied lemurs are managed by the European Endangered Species Programme.
In the Wild
Red-bellied lemurs (Eulemur rubriventer) live in the rainforests of eastern Madagascar. Males and females are easily told apart as only males have a red belly while females have a white one.
A troop of red-bellied lemurs consists of an adult breeding pair and their young of varying ages. The lemur family is very close, feeding, travelling and sleeping together. Grooming is also a part of daily life; they use the teeth on the lower jaw like a comb, removing ticks and fleas from each other’s coats.
After a gestation period of approximately four months, the adult female usually gives birth to a single infant. For the first five weeks the youngster is carried about on the backs of both mother and father with the infant using its tail to help hold on. After this time the young lemur will start to move around independently but will still mostly travel on dad’s back for another two months.
Red-bellied lemurs have a mixed diet of flowers, fruit, insects, leaves and nectar.
The main threat to the red-bellied lemur is habitat loss. Large areas of forest have been cleared in the east of Madagascar for logging and agricultural land. These lemurs are also hunted heavily in some areas.