Taipei Zoo welcomes rare aye-aye

Hira the aye-aye.

Hira the aye-aye. (CNA photo)

Taipei (CNA) - Hira, a 10-year-old female aye-aye previously caged at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo, will be put on show soon after her arrival at Taipei Zoo Monday.

The aye-aye is an endangered nocturnal primate native to Madagascar, with fewer than 60 in captivity around the world.

Taipei Zoo started a breeding program in cooperation with Ueno Zoo in 2018 after joining the Madagascar Fauna and Flora Group (MFG), said Taipei Zoo spokesman Eric Tsao (曹先紹). The two zoos are members of the MFG.

Animal specialists from Taipei Zoo were sent to Ueno Zoo to learn how to care for the aye-aye, in preparation for Hira's arrival, Tsao said, adding that the animal is in quarantine, after which she will be caged in the tropical rainforest area.

Taipei Zoo will negotiate with other zoos to find a male partner for Hira after she adapts to her environment, Tsao said.

The aye-aye is the world's largest nocturnal primate and lives in the rainforests and deciduous forests on the east coast of Madagascar. It was thought to be extinct since 1933, until its re-discovery in 1957, according to Taipei Zoo. (By Liang Pei-chi and Emerson Lim)