The Calgary Zoo is celebrating the birth of five furry new residents.
The Vancouver Island marmot pups were born at the Devonian Wildlife Conservation Centre, the zoo announced Thursday.
Vancouver Island marmots are one of the most endangered mammals in the world, with only 30 in the wild in 2003.
The Calgary Zoo launched a breeding program for the marmots in 1997, and says since then, 131 pups have been born at the zoo and released into the wild.
“Due to these conservation actions there are now more than 200 marmots in the wild,” the zoo said in a news release.
The Calgary Zoo is one of three facilities that breed the species, including the Toronto Zoo and the Tony Barrett Mt Washington Marmot Recovery.
“As a conservation organization, it is very rewarding to be an important part of the returning Vancouver Island marmot population,” The Calgary Zoo’s Dr. Doug Whiteside said.
“By saving this species, we are also protecting a beautiful and rare Canadian ecosystem.”
The pups won’t be named until after their vet checks in the fall, at which time a public naming contest will be held.