Since his birth, staff had been monitoring the infant’s weight consistently as is the standard Species Survival Program®(SSP) protocol for sifaka infants. Daily weight gain was not as large as staff had hoped to see. After conferring with the SSP Coordinator and veterinary staff at the Duke University Lemur Center, staff began to supplement the infant daily to increase its weight gain. The infant was nursing and developing well under his parents care.
On Friday, April 4th he was diagnosed with pneumonia and transported from the sifaka exhibit to the hospital ICU. The Duke University Lemur Center (the world’s leading center for interdisciplinary lemur research and conservation) was an integral resource over these three months concerning the best care options.
There are only ten AZA-accredited facilities that house the 66 endangered Coquerel’s Sifaka. Sifaka are native only to the island of Madagascar off the southeastern coast of Africa. Coquerel’s Sifaka are among the most endangered of the sifaka species – habitat loss due to deforestation is the leading threat.