PHOTO: Newborn Lemur Is a Scream at Busch Gardens

PHOTO: Newborn Lemur Is a Scream at Busch Gardens
Courtesy Busch Gardens

updated 05/17/2010 at 03:09 PM EDT

originally published 05/17/2010 03:00PM

Talk about a wild animal! Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay, Fla., welcomed two baby red-ruffed lemurs on April 21 – and one was apparently in quite a mood during a recent photo shoot.

The unnamed lemur and its similar-looking sibling are thriving at the park's Jambo Junction, where they're bonding with their 3-year-old parents, Maditra and Bozeny. According to trainers, the little ones are getting "braver" each day while exploring their habitat and greeting guests. Though they weigh just a half-pound now, they'll eventually grow to about 8 or 10 lbs. each.

Red-ruffed lemurs are one of about 50 lemur species that live on the island nation of Madagascar. Though they play a vital role in the development of forests – they're known as "seed dispersers" because of the way they spread plant seedlings through the forest – the little furballs are endangered due to mass habitat destruction. Busch Gardens has developed a conservation fund, which is working to curtail the issue; visit SWBG-ConservationFund.org to learn how you can help.

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