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Caretakers feed lemur twins rejected by their mother

Staff at Vienna’s Schönbrunn Zoo are feeding twin red ruffed lemurs born on 24 April that have been rejected by their mother.

The baby lemurs must be fed every two to three hours and then be given a stomach massage, as their mother would do if she accepted them as her own offspring.

Zoo director Dagmar Schratter said today (Tues): "We observed the mother’s behaviour towards her offspring for some time and saw that she refused to nurse them. They were steadily growing weaker."

She added that the outlook for the twin’s survival was good. One weights 150 grams, the other 132 grams.

If all goes well, caretakers will feed the twins for three months and then return them to the enclosure in which they will live. At present, zoo visitors are unable to see them.

The lemurs, considered an endangered species owing to the destruction of their habitat in the wild, are native to rain forests in eastern Madagascar, an island off the eastern coast of southern Africa.

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