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Twin sister lemurs at Bristol Zoo synchronise their births

Ring-tailed lemurs are an endangered species Photo: Bristol Zoo Gardens

Twin sister lemurs at Bristol Zoo Gardens appeared to synchronise their births last week when they gave birth within just hours of one another.

It is not uncommon for lemurs to be born at similar times - due to the short length of the mating season - but it is very unusual for two to be born within a matter of hours.

We often have a few lemur babies born in spring and summertime, but to have two babies born within hours of each other, to twin mothers, is exceptional.

– Sarah Gedman, Bristol Zoo
It is not unusual for lemurs to give birth at similar times, but it was a shock for keepers to discover that two had been born within a matter of hours of one another. Credit: Bristol Zoo Gardens

Ring-tailed lemurs are an endangered species and the zoo's walk-through exhibit is now home to nine of them in total. Their numbers have sadly declined in the last few decades, and the biggest reason for this is the destruction of their habitats.

The babies are still too small and close to their mothers' chests for keepers to determine the sexes, but the zoo has confirmed that they are doing well and getting stronger.

It’s really exciting and a great boost for our close-knit family group - the other lemurs have been taking a keen interest in the babies and we are keeping a close eye on them in these early days. We are very much looking forward to watching these new cousins grow-up together as playmates.

– Sarah Gedman, Bristol Zoo
A young lemur will ride on its mother's back after the first few weeks, until gradually becoming more independent. Credit: Bristol Zoo Gardens