_DSC6099_12445Dm 6674 ardrey 7071 elphabaEDSHP
Elphaba (6.5 years old) and her mom, Ardrey (22) peer out from their nestbox to investigate the strange man lurking in their room. It is unusual for a reproductively cycling, nearly seven year old, female aye-aye to still be compatible with her mom, much less sleeping in the same box. Just how unusual is it? The truth is we are really not sure, since aye-ayes, due to their later than average age of sexual maturity, longer time between infants, small group size and nocturnality (which makes them a not very popular zoo animal), have simply not produced a whole lot of infants in captivity. In comparison, since 1995 23 aye-aye have been born at the Lemur Center, but during the same time period 94 sifaka have been born here. More infants, more often, means greater opportunity to determine how long the infants can remain with their families as well as more opportunities to unravel other mysteries of a species social needs in captivity.