‘Aye-aye, baby!’ Meet Tonks, a newborn lemur

She is an endangered aye-aye, which is a nocturnal primate from Madagascar
aye-aye Meet Tonks, a newborn aye-aye, one of the rarest mammals in the world. (Denver Zoo)


A newborn aye-aye has been born at the Denver Zoo. Her name is Tonks and her birth is a cause for celebration. Or maybe fear?

Just kidding, we're sure this little critter is totally adorable. She just happens to be named after a witch in Harry Potter who was able to change her appearance at will into anything she wanted. No biggie. Who are her parents? Sorry, they're named what now?

Smeagol and Bellatrix?

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"Oh, hey Dad." (Getty Embed)

So, the creepy, deformed lizard-hobbit thing from Lord Of The Rings and Voldemort's chief Death Eater in Harry Potter?

Uh, we're not sure how that makes things any better on the not-creepy front. Maybe we should just focus on the wildlife instead?

An endangered species

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An adult aye-aye doesn't really look like Gollum. More like a startled bat that just woke up after sleepwalking itself into a ferret costume. They weigh about 2 kg. (5 lbs.) and live for around 20 years. (Getty Embed)

And from that angle, this really is a cause for celebration. Because the aye-aye is an endangered species. This nocturnal primate is from Madagascar and it is so rare that even experts are unsure of how many remain in the wild. There are 24 in American zoos, though, so Tonks' arrival is welcome news. And the staff at the Denver Zoo isn't taking any chances with her health.

“We noticed that Bellatrix wasn’t showing typical mothering behaviors, so we decided to step in to give Tonks some supportive care,” said Becky Sturges, the zoo's lead primate keeper.

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The long, spindly fingers of an aye-aye may be a little creepy, but they're excellent for climbing! (Getty Embed)

Thankfully, the hard work of the zookeepers is paying off. Tonks is now gaining weight and her mom is giving her lots of love and they all seem to be one happy aye-aye family.

Though the zookeepers plan on keeping her in her nesting box for the next couple of months, visitors to the Denver Zoo can expect to see this very rare trio of mammals soon!


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