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Ring-tailed lemur pup gets physical therapy at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- After discovering one of the ring-tailed lemur pups needed some help with her hands, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo keepers created a physical therapy routine similar to one used at Children's Hospital Colorado's Sports Medicine Center.

According to CMZoo, keepers began noticing Anja, a 5-month-old ring-tailed lemur pup, was consistently clenching her hands. While she was able to keep up with her brothers, keepers said they wanted to make sure her hands wouldn't prevent her from moving around.

Water's Edge: Africa keepers and CMZoo's veterinary staff didn't find any injuries or unusual bone structure. While there isn't a formal diagnosis at this point, CMZoo says it appears Anja has tight ligaments.

After consulting with a veterinary sports medicine and rehabilitation specialist, the team built a physical therapy routine for the young pup.

During her therapy, Anja holds onto a wooden pole while keepers turn the pole slightly so her fingers open up.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Grace Sullivan, a Water’s Edge: Africa keeper, said Anja loves the training rewards she receives during the sessions and is usually eager to participate.

According to CMZoo, Anja doesn't appear to experience any discomfort during these sessions.

Since beginning the sessions in mid-November, keepers say they've seen some improvement in her range of motion.

In addition to the treatments, CMZoo says the team added a series of bamboo poles attached perpendicularly to another pole to Lemur Island that encourage her to stretch the tight ligaments as she moves around. The new poles have a wider circumference than other climbing opportunities, allowing Anja to stretch her hands while moving around and having fun.

The zoo says her team will continue working with the young pup to gain flexibility.

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Shelby Filangi

Shelby is a digital content producer for You can learn more about Shelby here.

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