Zoo news: Duluth lemurs get names, pregnant Como gorilla gets ultrasound


Say hello to the newest wide-eyed animals at the Lake Superior Zoo: Riley, Felana, Lorelei and London.

The four are ring-tailed lemurs, born within a month of one another over the summer, the zoo says.

The zoo collected money for Madagascar-related charities during its first-ever World Lemur Festival Friday, and allowed donors to vote on a pre-selected list of names, Northland's NewsCenter reports.

The event raised $550 in all. It will be sent to the Madagascar Fauna Group. The African island nation is home to more than 100 species of lemurs, the zoo says.

Riley (male) and Felana (female) are a pair of twins, born May 31 to their mother, Riona.

Lorelei and London are both females, born to Sorcha on June 28.

According to the event page, most of the names the zoo keepers suggested names are Celtic, and consistent with the names of most of the other lemurs. They did, however, throw one Malagasy (a prominent language in Madagascar) name into the mix – Felana.

You can see Riley and Felana in action here, in this June video.


An ultrasound for a gorilla

In St. Paul, one of the two gorillas at the Como Zoo expecting a child provided a rare opportunity at an ultrasound.

Dara, the 11-year-old pregnant gorilla at the zoo, "recently presented her belly to the zookeepers," the zoo says in a press release, allowing them to get the "rare" video. In it, the zoo says the baby gorilla can be seen moving in Dara’s womb with an appendage of some sort – maybe arms or legs – visible.

“This ultrasound shows that the baby is doing well and the pregnancy is progressing as it should,” said Senior Zookeeper Jo Kelly.

The zoo uploaded the video to YouTube.


Her exhibit-mate, 12-year-old Alice, is also pregnant. She recently entered her birth window, and is expected to give birth by early December.

Dara's birth window is from mid-December to February.

In its 55-year history of caring for gorillas, these will be the first births at the zoo.

Before the gorillas got pregnant they stopped taking birth control pills. They were kept in the same enclosure with Schroder and nature took its course – the zoo confirmed the pregnancies with several human pregnancy tests, MPR News reported.

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