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Mom keeping tight wraps on new crowned lemur at Lincoln Park Zoo

Tucker, a crowned lemur at Lincoln Park Zoo, keeps a tight grip on her new baby, born April 23. | Lincoln Park Zoo

She didn’t arrive with all the fanfare of British royalty, but the newest resident of Lincoln Park Zoo – a crowned lemur born April 23 — is just as important for an endangered species of primate.

“The infant is healthy and is continuously passing critical milestones such as nursing regularly, gaining weight and holding tight to mother,” the zoo’s curator of primates, Maureen Leahy, said in a statement.

The new lemur’s sex and measurements have not been checked as its mother, Tucker, is keeping the newborn wrapped very close to her belly, according to zoo officials.

“Being an experienced mother, Tucker is providing excellent care to the newest arrival,” Leahy said.

Tucker and the newborn’s father, Sokkwi (so-kwee) were “recommended to breed” by the Crowned Lemur Species Survival Plan, a cooperative that manages threatened or endangered species.

The baby is the pair’s sixth offspring and second at Lincoln Park Zoo, where it will join 1-year-old sister Sava.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists crowned lemurs are endangered because of “forest loss caused by slash-and-burn practices, habitat fragmentation, charcoal production, mining and other environmental impacts from humans,” according to the zoo statement.

Native to Madagascar, the small lemur species gets it name from the crown-shaped, orange pattern of fur above its brow. Males and females have distinctly different coloration, with the males a chestnut brown and females gray.The entire family can be viewed at the Helen Brach Primate House daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Leahy calls them a joy to watch.

“Crowned lemurs are an extremely energetic and curious species,” the curator said. “Due to their high-activity level, they are a great species to observe at the zoo.”

Native to Madagascar, these primates are named after the gold crown-like coloration on their heads. These active lemurs forage at all levels of the forest canopy for fruits and leaves, using their 17-18 inch tail to help balance and move swiftly through the trees.