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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 January 2008, 17:38 GMT
Rare lemur species is born at zoo
Raz the aye aye
Raz the aye aye still fits in the palm of his keeper's hand
A rare species of lemur has been born at Bristol Zoo.

Two-month-old Raz, an aye aye and the second of the species to be born in Britain, still fits in the palm of his keeper's hand.

The aye aye, hunted to near extinction in its native Madagascar, is a species of lemur that looks like a cross between a mouse and bat.

Four keepers are hand-rearing Raz by giving him two-hourly feeds round the clock.

Keeper of small mammals at the zoo, Caroline Brown, said: "We made the decision to hand- rear this infant in advance of his birth because his mother has not had much success rearing her babies.

"So far he is doing well. He is gaining weight and seems strong. Aye ayes are quite slow- developing babies and require an intensive feeding regime."

The first aye aye born in captivity was also at Bristol Zoo Gardens in 2005, when keepers hand-reared a female called Kintana.

Once thought to be extinct, the aye aye is classified as endangered. Experts say there could be as few as 1,000 left.


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