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Cleveland Metroparks Zoo welcomes a series of animal births

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Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Welcomes Baby Meerkats, Howler Monkey
And Its First-Ever Birth Of An Endangered Crowned Lemur

It has been a busy summer so far for the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s Animal Care Staff. This year they have been caring for a host of new “babies” including a giraffe calf, baby black howler monkey, two meerkat kits and the first ever crowned lemur baby born at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

Of special note is the crowned lemur (Eulemur coronatus) which is native to Madagascar and is on the endangered species list. The baby lemur was born on June 2 and is the offspring of mom Kesi and dad Azizi. Crowned lemurs have been on exhibit at the Zoo since 2010 but this is the first time that two have successfully reproduced. Among the lemur species at the Zoo are ring-tailed, red-ruffed and mongoose, all of which can be found in the Primate, Cat & Aquatics Building.

"The Zoo is especially excited about the birth of our crowned lemur," said Executive Zoo Director Chris Kuhar. "There are only 25 of these endangered species in six American zoos, so a new baby is certainly something to celebrate and not something you can see just anywhere."

On June 22, 2014 the 47th giraffe calf since 1955 was born to first time mom Jhasmin and father Travis. The new calf has been named Adia (Ah-dia) which is Swahili for “gift”. Giraffes are native to the savannas of Africa south of the Sahara Desert. Masai giraffes (Giraffa Camelopardalis tippelskirchi) are found in Kenya and Tanzania, near the Masai Mara National Reserve. Adia can be found in the Zoo's African Savanna area with the rest of the herd, including females Jada and Grace.

Meerkats (Suricata suricatta) are also native to southern Africa, including Angola, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. They live in family groups called "mobs," and the Zoo's mob was joined by two newborn meerkat kits on June 24. Kits are often hidden in the mob's tunnels in order to protect them from predators, but they can be seen occasionally as they explore their new home in the Zoo's African Elephant Crossing exhibit.

The Zoo's latest baby was born July 12 in the Primate, Cat & Aquatics Building to black howler monkey mom Springer and dad Dante. The baby, whose name and gender have yet to be determined, is on exhibit and doing well. Black howler monkeys (Alouatta caraya) are native to central South America, south of the Amazon River basin. Howler monkeys have enlarged lower jaws which accommodate egg-shaped resonating chambers that allow them to make the very loud, reverberating sounds which give them their name.

Maintaining a healthy and genetically diverse population of zoo animals is the goal of the various Species Survival Plans administered by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, the accrediting organization the Zoo belongs to. The Zoo participates in the SSP for Masai giraffes, black howler monkeys, crowned lemurs and meerkats, helping to ensure sustainable zoo populations for these and other animals.

Northeast Ohio's most-visited year-round attraction, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is open 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily with hours extended to 7:00 p.m. on weekends and holidays from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Admission is $12.25 per person, $8.25 for kids ages 2 to 11 and free for children younger than 2 and Zoo members. Parking is free. Located at 3900 Wildlife Way, the Zoo is easily accessible from Interstates 71, 90 and 480.

For more information, visit or call 216-661-6500.