World's Weirdest Animal: London Zoo Welcomes Baby Aye-Aye Lemur in Time for Halloween
A baby aye-aye lemur, perhaps one of the creepiest animals in the world, graces the ZSL London zoo for the first time since its birth on July 1.
Who are the aye-ayes?
The aye-aye lemur (Daubentonia madagascariensis) is a unique lemur species that's a symbol of bad luck in Madagascar, where they originated. This species features an unusually long middle finger for clawing bugs, insects and branches, BBC reports.
The strange-looking lemur has prominent popping eyes, big ears and teeth similar to rodents. It's a nocturnal primate that hunts for food through a process known as percussive foraging, which involves tapping trees and gnawing holes in the wood to insert its thin, long middle finger, according to the International Journal of Primatology.
Strange lemur a human relative?
National Geographic notes that these primates, even though they do not look the part, are actually relatives of apes, chimpanzees and humans. They are extremely elusive, spending their existence up in forest trees inside their closed sphere nests made of leaves and branches.
The aye-aye lemurs, as per the Duke Lemur Center, was once the most endangered species on Earth. However, population growth of these primates boosted due to the flock of researchers in Madagascar with the hopes to study the extremely elusive animal.
Bad luck for the aye-ayes
Habitat loss and hunting are some of the main threats of the species' survival. Aye-ayes are also considered as a pest in agricultural lands and, due to their strange appearance, many locals believe that these animals bring bad luck and should be killed.
The London zookeepers were delighted when the baby aye-aye popped up of its box for the first time since its birth, just in time for Halloween.