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She's Not Pretty, But Denver Zoo's Rare Baby Aye-Aye Is Still Awesome

Courtesy Denver Zoo
Tonks is the Denver Zoo's new aye-aye.

Sometimes beauty is in the aye-aye of the beholder.

A rare aye-aye has arrived at the Denver Zoo. The nocturnal lemur, named Tonks, was born August 8.

Known for their distinct look, the animals feature beady eyes, rodent-like teeth and skeletal hands with hooked claws. Native to remote parts of Madagascar, there are only 24 aye-ayes in U.S. zoos, and an unknown number living in the wild.

While Tonks is now healthy, zoo officials said they were concerned at first.

“We noticed that Bellatrix wasn’t showing typical mothering behaviors, so we decided to step in to give Tonks some supportive care,” lead primate keeper Becky Sturges said in a news release. “We provided 24-hour care for the first week and had to teach Bellatrix how to nurse, but now she is nursing well and Tonks has gained a lot of weight. Now we’re just monitoring them to make sure things continue to go well.”

Tonks is currently in the Emerald Forest exhibit with mom Bellatrix and dad Smeagol. Zoo officials said visitors likely won’t see her for a few months, when she begins exploring away from her nest box.

Stacy was KUNC's arts and culture reporter from 2015 to 2021.
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