By Kristen E. Strubberg Editor-in-Chief
Meet Kapika (Malagasy for “peanut”) a female Coquerel’s Sifaka lemur born January 21 at the St. Louis Zoo. She is mother Almirena’s fourth baby with father Caligula.
After birth the newborn lemur latches to mom’s chest but after a few weeks moves to mom’s back, according to ARKive. Once she reaches one year old, Kapika will be full grown and capable making 30ft leaps between trees and the hopping bipedal movement that’s distinctive to the species.
Coquerel’s Sifaka are listed as endangered but due to decreasing population, the species may soon be upgraded to Critically Endangered. Their primary threat is poaching. Hunting the lemur is considered taboo to Madagascar natives but newcomers do not share the same views. Destruction of their forest habitat for agriculture has also decreased their numbers. Fortunately Kapika and family live at the international headquarters of the Madagascar Fauna Group, a cooperative between zoos and aquariums aimed at preserving lemurs among many other threatened Madagascar species.