National Zoo & Aquarium

Hi I’m Masina a Black-and-white Ruffed Lemur

The black-and-white ruffed lemur, named for the ruff-like fur surrounding its head, is a social animal that can live and forage in groups of up to 20. Within this group, there are equal numbers of males and females, and it is quite common for them to pair up and form strong bonds. Males and females are very similar to each other in size and strength, however it is the female who is usually more aggressive and takes on the role of protecting the group’s territory.

Females have a short pregnancy and usually give birth to 2–6 tiny babies, each weighing only 100 grams. These babies are covered in fur and are born with their eyes open. Unlike other lemurs, they cannot grasp, which means that the babies are unable to cling to their mother’s back. Instead, their mother will build a simple nest out of leaves, branches and fur for the babies to live in for 1–3 weeks. After that time has elapsed, she will carry them in her mouth and ‘park’ them in a tree while she searches nearby for food.

The zoo is home to 6 black-and-white ruffed lemurs and they are part of a regional breeding program for the species.

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Ruffed Lemur Facts

Conservation Status Critically endangered
Distribution Eastern Madagascar
Weight 3.2–4.5kg
Length 51–60cm
Life Span 15–28 years
Gestation 90–102 days

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Scrivener Dam, Yarralumla, Canberra, ACT 2611

We are open every day except Christmas day 9.30am until 5.00pm

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