• What is it? Rare baby aye-aye born at Denver Zoo

    By: Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    The first question that pops into your mind may be what is it?

    Meet Tonks, an aye-aye, and she’s one of rarest animals of the world. 

    There are only 24 aye-ayes living in seven zoos in the U.S., KMGH reported.

    And if you’re wondering if Tonks is a bat or a possum, or something other-worldly, it really is a nocturnal species of lemur, native to parts of Madagascar. Aye-ayes are endangered but are so and elusive that scientists don’t know how many live in the wild, The Fort Collins Coloradoan reported. They live about 20 years and can weigh about 5 pounds.

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    Tonks only weighed a few ounces when she was born last month to Bellatrix and Smeagol, KMGH reported.

    For the first week, she needed 24-hour care and Bellatrix had to be taught how to nurse baby Tonks. But Tonks has been gaining weight and she and mom are being monitored to see if it continues.

    The new family is being housed in the aye-aye exhibit but Tonks will stay in her nest box for a few months before she’s able to check out the exhibit, KMGH reported.

    Aye-ayes are nothing if not unique. The zoo primate experts describe aye-ayes as having “coarse dark hair, long bushy tails, rodent-like teeth, piercing eyes and skeletal hands that feature extra-long middle fingers with hooked claws.”

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