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Caitlin O'Hara, Interim Conservation & Communications Manager
Photos and BROLL available online.
Note: Happy Hollow Park & Zoo does not allow unscheduled media visits inside the facilities. Due to COVID-19 precautions and the great amount of routine care needed by our zoo animals, all animal care staff interviews must be scheduled in advance.
Two Healthy Lemur Pups Born at Happy Hollow
SAN JOSE, Calif. (April 30, 2021) - Happy Hollow Park & Zoo welcomes two adorable new additions to the family, and the newborns are already doing their part to keep their species going strong.
On Friday, April 16, black and white ruffed lemurs Vintana and Nify welcomed two newborn pups to their family. The Zoo will confirm the sexes of the pups during upcoming veterinary exams in the weeks to come. Vintana, the 7 year old female, and Nify, the 19 year old male, were recommended to pair up by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' (AZA) Species Survival Plan program. The couple are experienced parents, and the new additions total four offspring since 2018.
"The birth of any newborn animal at the Zoo is cause for celebration, but the birth of an endangered species is momentous," says Kiersten McCormick, Happy Hollow's General Manager.
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Black and white ruffed lemurs are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. In the wild, they are found only in Madagascar and face threats due to habitat loss, and the demand for them in the illegal exotic pet industry.
"Though their antics can be amusing, it's important to remember that our Zoo animals are not here for entertainment purposes," says Happy Hollow Zoo Manager, Kevin Hertell. "Very few people will actually take their families to visit Madagascar, but when they see our lemurs up close — it makes them much more likely to want to protect their wild counterparts and habitats."
Currently, Vintana and her pups have access to an off-view den for quiet bonding, but she has already been observed bringing them out to spend time in the main exhibit and lucky guests may catch a glimpse of them. "Both pups are bright and alert and on track weight-wise for their age," says Rachel Atkins, Happy Hollow's Veterinary Technician. "Vintana enjoyed her favorite treats during the pups' first exam, so everyone was calm and comfortable. Like any pregnancy, it's always a relief when newborns pass their first check-up with flying colors. We will continue monitoring them very closely, but so far we are ecstatic to see them thriving."
The public will eventually have the opportunity to help name the new lemur pups through a naming contest. More information on how to participate will be posted to the Zoo's website and social media this May.
You can see Happy Hollow's three species of lemurs inside the two different Zoo areas: Zoo on the Hill and Zoo in the Hollow. Happy Hollow's covid-modified Walk Through the Zoo is open daily with health screenings upon entry, mandatory masks for ages 2 and up, and timed ticket reservations. The rides currently remain closed, but two large play and eating areas are available with admission. Plan your visit at www.happyhollow.org
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About the City of San José
With more than one million residents, San José is one of the most diverse large cities in the United States and is Northern California's largest city and the 10th largest city in the nation. San José's transformation into a global innovation center has resulted in one of the largest concentrations of technology companies and expertise in the world. In 2011, the City adopted Envision San José 2040, a long-term growth plan that sets forth a vision and a comprehensive road map to guide the City's anticipated growth through the year 2040.
About Happy Hollow Park & Zoo
Happy Hollow Park & Zoo has provided outdoor play to the Bay Area since 1961. Happy Hollow is a facility of the San José's Department of Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services, and is supported by Happy Hollow Foundation. The mission of Happy Hollow is connecting people to nature through play. Happy Hollow features a unique combination of family rides and amusements, a Puppet Castle Theater, nature themed play areas, special events for all seasons, an Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredited zoo, and a zoo education and wildlife conservation program with classes, camps and events for all ages. Happy Hollow also offers annual memberships for families and individuals. www.happyhollow.org
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