ATASCADERO — The Charles Paddock Zoo has announced the birth of a Mongoose Lemur. The baby Lemur is now on exhibit and can be seen by watchful visitors.

This mongoose lemur Eulemur mongoz, will spend at least the first three weeks clinging to the mother. In the first weeks after birth, it is hard to tell the gender, but the zoo staff will be able to tell if it’s a male or female by development of its beard color. Males have reddish-orange fur beneath their chins while females have white fur. The males are born with white beards that turn the reddish-brown when they reach about six weeks old. Around five weeks they’ll start to slowly venture out and sample the foods that it’s mother and father are eating. The adult diet consists mostly of fruit, but they also eat flowers, leaves and occasionally bugs. It will be completely weaned around 5 to 6 months and they will pay close attention to the size and behavior of the baby without intervening unless absolutely necessary. 

The youngster will stay at the Zoo as part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP) until it is ready to leave and go to another zoo for their breeding program to ensure genetic diversity among the species. The lemurs are critically endangered in the wild due to deforestation and poaching/hunting. The Mongoose Lemurs will remain on exhibit with the baby but have access to the back on busy days to avoid stress and over stimulation.


Over 200 animal species to enjoy at the Zoo. Many of the Zoo residents are part of a globally managed program to preserve animals and their habitats. The Zoo features several unique species not often seen in facilities of our size, including fossa, red pandas, Malayan tiger, lemurs, and meerkats, as well as many other exciting and interesting mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects. Unique gifts, as well as refreshments and strollers are available at the zoo gift shop. Adjacent to the Atascadero Lake Park, the zoo is the perfect destination for a day of fun, education, and relaxation.

The Charles Paddock Zoo is SLO County’s only Zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Open Daily and located at Atascadero Lake Park on Hwy 41/Morro Road, one mile west of Hwy 101. For information, go to or call the Zoo at (805) 461-5080.