Sussex

Drusillas Park rare baby black lemur takes first steps

Baby black lemur
Image caption Tsito is growing in confidence daily, keepers at Drusillas Park said

A rare black lemur born at an East Sussex zoo after his parents met there in 2009 is taking his first steps.

Tsito's mother Clementine met Lofti, his father, after she arrived at Drusillas Park from Portugal, and he travelled from Tunisia.

Their new arrival has just started to come off his mother's back for short periods to explore the trees and ropes.

Keepers said he was making good progress and had started eating solid food, with his favourite being pears.

Black lemurs carry around their youngsters for up to six months.

Tsito is now more than two months old but is growing in confidence daily, zoo manager Sue Woodgate said.

Black lemurs are native to the forest areas of northern Madagascar where they are considered a vulnerable species, mainly because of hunting and the destruction of their habitat.

Clementine and Lofti were brought to Drusillas, near Alfriston, as part of the European Endangered Species Programme coordinated by the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria.

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