Lemurs are crucial to the survival of the island's flora and fauna because they help disperse seeds from all of the variety of fruits they eat. It’s important to understand the difference between domestication and habituation. If you want a pet, choose a domesticated animal and not a wild or exotic one. Getting a lemur home is like having a baby; only the toddler doesn’t grow up. Lemurs bond very closely with their primary caretaker and can be very jealous of other pets. Even though most pet lemurs that are sold in the United States are bred in the United States, this does not make the issue any less serious. It’s still a growing argument, weather lemurs are good pets, or if it’s better to leave them in the wild or in a zoo. It’s important to note that taking care of a lemur is a big responsibility, and only if you have the time, energy, dedication, and money for it, should you bring one home. The fact that lemurs are called exotic pets, itself reveals that bringing them home as pets is not an easy task. Think of how often dogs or cats get sick and are taken to the vet; lemurs are no different. Lemurs are classified based on their size. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. How do I escape?’”, The risks aren’t limited to lemurs’ owners. Several lemur owners have reported attacks by their lemurs when they took something away from them. Native to the island of Madagascar, lemurs are intriguing primates, whose endearing personalities are making them sought-after pets. Lemurs are primates which much like monkeys, they carry diseases and usually are very bad tempered, at least the ringtails have a nasty disposition. A local veterinarian who deals with rare and exotic species must be available. In Madagascar, it is not good to keep lemurs as pets for several reasons. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. 2. “Lemurs’ teeth are made for slashing,” says Cathy. Would lemurs make good pets? In the words of Joao de Souza, who researched the issue: - In some cities in the USA it is legal to own a lemur, but you will. Would you like to write for us? Avoid businesses and wildlife parks that offer contact with lemurs or other wild animals, such as yoga with lemurs or hands-on “encounters” involving touching or feeding. In 1992 there were 2 species of mouse lemurs; By 20 by 24, there were 24 It was estimated that 24 mouse lemur species evolved from a common ancestor 10 million years ago. Moreover, like humans, lemurs can also contract and spread diseases, thus, vaccinations are extremely important. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. They chiefly live in trees (), and are active at night (). Lemurs aren't pets. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. First, when lemurs have become used to humans (for example, when they have been touched or fed by humans), it changes their behavior and they are less scared of people. The laws of the State regarding exotic animals have to be taken into consideration before planning to get a lemur. As pointed out earlier, lemurs tend to become aggressive as they reach sexual maturity, with the females exhibiting more aggressive behavior than the males. Our site includes quite a bit of content, so if you're having an issue finding what you're looking for, go on ahead and use that search feature there! How to Find the Right Pet Clinic for Your Dog or Cat. Lemurs and mice were declared by lemurs IUCN as the most endangered of all vertebrates. “He was on me for a good solid minute,” she said. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. “To be psychologically healthy, lemurs require a long period of maternal contact and learning,” explains Cathy Williams, DVM, director of animal care and welfare at the DLC. A second appointed competent handler should be available just in case of owner absenteeism or incapacitation. In the wild, they’ll stink up a tree. Another thing that needs to be pointed out is that lemurs cannot be potty trained, and need to wear diapers when inside the house. During a live performance in 2003, Mantecore – then seven years old and having spent his entire life with humans, including being bottle-fed as a cub – attacked Roy Horn, paralyzing the performer and ending Horn’s career. To learn more, please read our formal position statement on pet lemurs. Infants reared by humans are often kept in isolation from all other lemurs, not just their mothers – bad news for a primate that, in the wild, lives in natural family groups and forms strong bonds with others of its species. Dwarf mouse lemurs, … What many people don’t realize is that, despite its legality, keeping a lemur as a pet can be devastating to both the animal and the owner. A famous example is Mantecore, a white tiger who starred in Siegfried and Roy’s legendary Las Vegas magic shows. If you’re thinking about bringing one home, stick to the stuffed animal kind. Since lemurs are wild animals, they are not safe to keep as pets. In the wild, lemurs move in groups and share strong family bonds. 6789 Quail Hill Pkwy, Suite 211 Irvine CA 92603. It is an amazing and guilt free experience. Even though keeping lemurs as pets is technically illegal there, the law is rarely enforced. “They’re social animals,” says the DLC’s conservation coordinator, Charlie Welch, who has seen many pet lemurs in Madagascar over the years. Their ingrained social structure requires an alpha, generally a female. [1] The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) defines pets as “animals kept by humans for pleasure or companionship” and estimates 15,000 privately owned non-human primates in the United States. “Once a baby lemur grows up, they are not cuddly at all. Furthermore, bats are also said to be good at discriminating patterns. Owners occasionally contact us, already having purchased a pet lemur, with no idea what to feed it. Here at the Duke Lemur Center, the health and general welfare of one lemur can cost upwards of $200,000 over its lifespan—and we get to buy food in bulk. Countless laws regulate the ownership of exotic and/or wild animals. Getting lemurs or other primates as pets can prove very expensive. “Lemurs are also strong, so they can be difficult to control.”. But before bringing home a companion, do your research to make sure you’re prepared to meet its needs. They are incredibly strong and enjoy leaping 15-20 feet in one jump and will happily use your body as a launching/landing pad which is quite violent even though the one I … That pet lemurs tend to have serious nutritional problems from being fed inappropriate diets exacerbates the problem of limited access to qualified veterinary care. These animals have a safe and near natural haven. The lemur reserve is in the centre of a small lake reached by canoe (a little snug for the more rotund amongst us). Whichever pet you choose, make sure to get it from a reputable source that can attest to its health. Much has been written about the serious, negative impact of the pet trade on the conservation of lemurs throughout Madagascar. Owning an exotic pet is a status symbol today, and more and more people are on the lookout for unusual pets that can raise their status quotient. Which leads us to…. Ring-tailed lemurs are one of the more sought-after species for ownership. You’ve made a long-term commitment and you’ve got to stick to it! These can be “easily obtained” by the general public through “online advertisements, pet stores, and roadside attractions.” The problem isn’t limited to lemurs, as “non-human primate species most commonly kept in personal possession include marmosets, tamarins, lemurs, capuchins, squirrel monkeys, macaques, baboons, and chimpanzees.”. By contrast, if cared for properly, prosimians in human care can live 25 years or more. Many lemurs born in captivity find their way to the United States and are kept as pets. Isolation from other lemurs can have serious consequences, including the development of harmful coping strategies such as repetitive pacing, over-grooming (excessive licking or pulling out hair), and self-injuring (biting or chewing on their tails or limbs). Actress Kirstie Alley owns lemurs, however, if you’re thinking of following in her footsteps, it’s important to understand that getting primates home is not the right thing to do! Even after taking all the necessary precautions, it is very important to keep an eye on them at all times. Recently a pet lemur owner requested help diagnosing toxoplasmosis (a parasitic infection) via the DLC Facebook page, because “all the vets I work with don’t do exotics.” Even among exotic animal veterinarians, many refuse to see primates; those who do often know very little about lemurs’ diseases or how to treat them. People find baby lemurs irresistible, however, little do they realize that as these lemurs grow into adults and attain sexual maturity, they tend to get aggressive. Ring-tailed lemurs have grayish-brown bodies with rings of black and white fur on their tails. It is advisable that keepers have a good knowledge of handling and husbandry techniques of the species. Lemurs have complex inborn social habits and structures, which cannot be satisfied by humans. Yet these lemurs are still wild animals. ANSWER: Lemurs aren't pets. They are wild creatures that have roamed our planet for … “A human-raised lemur,” says Cathy, “will be physically and psychologically maldeveloped—it’s just bad for the animal.”. Most species of lemur communicate through scent marking. While there are many pet owners who have successfully managed to raise lemurs as pets, others have been attacked and injured. In Madagascar, they had decided that keeping lemurs as pets was not a good idea. The Lacey Act of 1900 protects both plants and wildlife by creating civil and criminal penalties for a wide array of violations, and most notably prohibits trade in wildlife, fish, and plants … In Madagascar, it has been illegal to kill, keep, or export lemurs as pets since 1964. They could be very difficult to handle and may become dangerous in the long run, with their capacity to bite humans. Having worked with a young lemur, I can say I would not want one in my house. Overall, getting and taking care of a lemur calls for a lot of effort, love, attention, and money. They’ll rub these glands on surfaces to mark their territory. Before bringing home any companion, make sure you have the time, money, and space to meet its needs. An adult ring-tailed lemur can reach up to a length of 17 – 22 inches and weighs 5 – 8 pounds. In fact, there are an estimated 15,000 pet primates in the United States,[1] and purchasing one is relatively easy: a couple thousand dollars and a trip to an online pet store is all it takes. Avoid businesses and wildlife parks that offer contact with lemurs or other wild animals, such as yoga with lemurs or hands-on “encounters” involving touching or feeding. In the wild, lemurs feed on fruits, nuts, insects, etc., whereas, in captivity lemurs are mostly fed fruits, primate biscuits, fiber sticks, etc. There are more than 100 types of lemurs, differing from each other by their behavior and external characteristics. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Some species, such as ruffed lemurs, have loose, splatty stools – and lemurs can’t be house- or litterbox-trained. In some states in the US, including North Carolina, it’s perfectly legal to own an animal as endangered and exotic as a lemur. What Do Pet Owners Think About the TOOGE Pet Camera. They must be neutered at about six months, because at puberty they become very aggressive (especially the females). most lemurs available as pets, are bred, not captured in the wild....some states require a class iii liscense, some also require a cities permit, and some don't allow them as pets at all. “They need to be around other lemurs.”. Many people do, but that doesn’t make it right to keep one, such as the lemur. Lemurs are dominance-oriented creatures. Transmission can happen through direct contact, like touching fecal matter, or indirectly, by breathing the same air. IT is good to introduce them early on and raise them together so they know and understand each other. Getting a lemur has become the hottest fad lately, however, is it ethically right to keep lemurs as pets? certain species are not available in the u.s. as to whether they make good pets is subjective. For another, they can’t be housebroken, so they must wear diapers in the house. Lemurs make poor pets. But its inborn wild instincts will never go away, which can make habituated wild animals unpredictable and even dangerous. Photo of adoptable Tova by Assorted Poppies Photo for the Animal Protection Society of Durham, NC (apsofdurham.org). Between cleaning enclosures, proper social interaction, routine and emergency medical attention, and preparing and feeding a proper diet, lemur care is a 365-days-per-year life-altering responsibility. People who wish to own an exotic pet need special license to do so. Even if you never own a pet lemur yourself, there are choices you can make to reduce others’ interest in lemurs as pets. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. No, lemurs would make bad pets for many reasons: Lemurs, like other exotic animals kept as pets, are not domesticated, so aggression can be hard to predict and control. “Lemurs make terrible pets,” says Cathy Williams, curator at the Duke Lemur Center. Pet shops. The lemurs, tempted by tit bits, are keen to welcome guests by jumping on shoulders and heads and providing perfect photo opportunities. So, keeping lemurs as pets is allowed in some countries and illegal in others. In captivity, they depend on their owner for social interaction, and get very cranky if this need isn’t met. They are known to slap and play bite at some pets and a few pets are OK with this while others are not. Lemurs make terrible pets and it takes thousands of years to domesticate an animal. Well, we're looking for good writers who want to spread the word. The answer is no. Among all types of lemurs, the mouse lemurs and ring-tailed lemurs are perhaps the most commonly purchased types as pets. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Not every country has the same laws. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Lemurs, capuchins, chimpanzees, and baboons all fall into the primate category. If you want a pet, choose a domesticated animal – not a wild primate. Moreover, if they’ve had a baby, they become extremely protective of their young one, and won’t spare anybody, even if it’s their owner who raised them from childhood. Dogs, cats, sheep, horses—these animals have been domesticated. This could help in separating nectar from fruits. They are cute and childlike but are not a substitute for human babies. Lemurs do not make good pets. Don’t be fooled – it makes a terrible pet And in some species, like dogs, certain breeds are harder to care for than others. An infant lemur destined to become a pet is taken away from its mother on the day of its birth – and that traumatic early separation can have serious physiological and behavioral consequences throughout the life of the animal. “I remember one call, they said ‘I’m trapped in my bathroom and he’s outside the door. It’s not only expensive, but also involves seeking a license, finding a breeder, locating a local veterinarian who is qualified to treat exotic animals, etc. Here’s why: Lemurs are the most endangered group of mammals on Earth, with 95% of species facing a high risk of extinction. Position statement The Duke Lemur Center is absolutely against all trade in pet primates, and against the holding of any prosimian (lemur, loris, bushbaby, potto) as a pet. Sign up to receive the latest and greatest articles from our site automatically each week (give or take)...right to your inbox. “We cannot adequately meet their complex social needs, and adult lemurs cannot conform to our idea of what makes a good pet,” explains LaFleur. These lemurs are not as close to the brink of extinction as those on the critical list but still face a good possibility of vanishing in the near future. The well-known ring-tailed lemurs are by far the most common species people own in captivity, but the ruffed lemur and brown lemur also have limited availability. It’s tough to look at a ring-tailed lemur and not get the urge to hold one. They are also known to slap their owners, when irritable. By Will Goodwin, 2019 Communications Intern and Sara Clark. This is the reason why lemurs in captivity have a tendency of becoming obese. What’s surprising is how simple it is to do just that. “Fairly frequently, we’ll get calls from lemur owners asking how to handle their pet now that it’s begun to bite or scratch them, or wondering where they can send a lemur they don’t want anymore,” says Megan McGrath, education programs manager at the DLC. Even common domesticated animals can require highly specialized care. Moreover, the lemur must be neutered at around 6-8 months of age, to reduce aggression at the onset of sexual maturity. With no other lemurs around, they may attempt to establish dominance over their owners in a similar manner as lemurs naturally do with other lemurs: by lunging, chasing, grabbing, and biting. Unfortunately this can lead to privately-held pet lemurs developing a host of illnesses, including obesity and diabetes, and dying prematurely. Although illegal to keep as pets in Madagascar, thousands of lemurs have been illegally removed from their wild habitats and kept in-country as household pets or as tourist attractions at Malagasy hotels and restaurants. The males have scent glands in their wrists and on their chests and the females have scent glands directly under their tails, close to the anus. Moreover, the United States government has exhaustive and strict laws against importing of foreign animals, mainly due the threat of any diseases that they may carry. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. And keeping lemurs as pets just isn’t good for lemurs. Even with professional help, the whole process of training can be quite exhaustive and time-consuming. The evolution of mouse lemurs is an example of adaptive radiation. So take your financial situation into account for the next two decades, before making any decision. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Lemurs as Pets. “It was one of the scariest things I’ve been through.” And a pet lemur named Keanu bit a woman in a consignment shop in Texas in 2015, resulting in a three-inch wound that “was so deep the doctor could actually put her finger inside it.” Previously, Keanu had attacked a postwoman after his owner “forgot to lock the door to Keanu’s bedroom, and when she looked away he ran towards [the postwoman’s] car, jumped in, and bit her.”. A mouse lemur control measures from 4.7 inches to 5.7 inches in length. No, I'm sure most of them are endangered so it would be against the law without a permit. Devastating effects of the pet trade The pet trade has a serious, negative impact on wild populations, through the smuggling and import of wild primates that ultimately […] These cookies do not store any personal information. Yet very few veterinary hospitals will treat primates because of the possibility of disease transmission to humans and risk of injury to staff. After a clip of a ring-tailed lemur appearing to motion for a child to pet it accrued millions of views, there was a dramatic increase in Google searches for the phrase “pet lemur.” The next time you come across a video of a pet lemur in a bathtub, or a photo of a diapered ring-tail perched on someone’s shoulder, don’t share it. In Florida, an escaped pet lemur attacked a 21-year-old pre-med student outside her grandparents’ home. NOT PETS Ring-tailed lemurs are adorable wild animals. Pets with sharp quills, like hedgehogs, will also pose a threat. When you see a wild animal being “nice” to a human, it’s likely become habituated to humans. The Lemur Conservation Foundation is often asked whether or not lemurs make good pets.Based on information from our conservation partners and the scientific community, LCF does not support lemurs as pets.We are pleased to share the reasons why primates do not make appropriate pets. This means that over long stretches of time, natural selection and selective breeding weeded out those animals whose temperaments weren’t suitable for living alongside humans. NOT PETS Ring-tailed lemurs are adorable wild animals. Overall, bats are not made for domestication. There are about 100 species of lemurs, of which about 33 species are found in Madagascar. For one thing, they’re wild, not domestic, so they weren’t bred to be docile and obedient. In a reality television show filmed in eastern North Carolina, a lemur is shown eating a slice of bacon. 7 facts about lemurs. Even providing a lemur with a proper daily diet is complicated. Amazon.com Wishlist — Send a Lemur a Present. It’s not only expensive, but also involves seeking a license, finding a breeder, locating a local veterinarian who is qualified to treat exotic animals, etc. Its height can reach 1 meter and weight – 10 kilograms. Nearly always, the animal is the ultimate loser. Lemurs (/ ˈ l iː m ər / LEE-mər) (from Latin lemures – ghosts or spirits) are mammals of the order Primates, divided into 8 families and consisting of 15 genera and around 100 existing species.They are native only to the island of Madagascar.Most existing lemurs are small, have a pointed snout, large eyes, and a long tail. Besides importing, there are even stricter laws in place in all the states, regarding the possession of exotic animals as pets. In Madagascar, pet lemurs are typically animals that have been snatched from the wild as young — a process that’s traumatic for the animals and frequently involves killing the mother. This means social interaction means a lot to them. A young woman recently contacted the Lemur Center after being jumped on and bitten by a stranger’s pet lemur inside a convenience store in Ohio. 2010-12-05 07:28:09. A step down is the list of "Endangered" lemurs, which includes the Hairy-eared Dwarf Lemur, the Golden Brown Mouse Lemur, and the Black and White Ruffed Lemur. Copyright © Pet Ponder & Buzzle.com, Inc. Once a lemur has been brought home, it needs to be trained, and this requires a lot of patience and perseverance. Besides the initial costs of acquiring the pet, a lot of money has to be shelled out on vaccinations, neutering the lemurs, food, cage, etc. While pet lemurs may seem calm and content as infants, when they reach sexual maturity (usually between two and four years of age), they begin to crave structure and assert dominance. Moreover, since they get disturbed by loud noises, activities that disturb their peace must be avoided. Official Position Statement: The Duke Lemur Center is against all trade in pet primates, and against the holding of any prosimian (lemur, loris, bushbaby, potto) as a pet. Simple things like ceiling fans can prove dangerous for these arboreal creatures, for which the house has to be primate-proofed! “There are a lot of risks you assume if you try to tame a wild animal,” says Cathy. When lemurs are no longer scared of humans, they are more likely to be hunted. We hope you are enjoying PetPonder! An owner cannot legally drive with her lemur across state lines without a permit, or take her lemur to a boarding facility when she goes on vacation. The smallest one is the tiny pygmy mouse lemur, and the largest one today, is the Indri lemur, which weighs around 15 pounds. A new survey finds that thousands of lemurs, from many lemur species, are kept as pets in households in Madagascar, despite the practice being illegal. In your home, they may decide to scent mark your sofa. We provide informative articles about caring for pets that you can come back to again and again when you have questions or want to learn more! Overall, getting and taking care of a lemur calls for a lot of effort, love, attention, and money. “Lemur mothers carry their babies constantly for the first four months, and that contact is critical for normal development and behavior.” The separation of a newborn lemur from its mother permanently alters the baby’s brain development, and pet lemurs often develop deep social and psychological problems. In addition to scent marking with their glands, lemurs will urine mark just as frequently. Address: 3705 Erwin Road, Durham, NC 27705Phone: (919) 401-7240, Overview: Madagascar Conservation Programs. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) has reported that viewing lemurs in contact with humans increases the public perception that they are suitable as pets. Breeding Lemurs Any animal that is in pain is more likely to bite a child or act out in self-defense. However, unlike in the wild, in captivity owners provide the necessary meals, and all lemurs have to do is eat it. This lemur species has soft fur, long hind legs, a long tail, large saucer like eyes, and a strip of black fur running down back at him. Space in reputable sanctuaries is extremely limited, and zoos and conservation breeding facilities like the DLC cannot accept ex-pet lemurs. Similarly, you may sometimes see photos or videos of habituated young lemurs acting affectionately towards their owners. will NOT carry them, and any reputable zoo … Lemurs and domesticity don’t mix Sure, they are often treated like babies by their owners putting them in diapers and strollers but they also act like babies, permanently, with all the messes and screaming included. Even seemingly “simple” domesticated pets like guinea pigs are social, herd animals that do better in pairs or groups and need plenty of space, enrichment, and a high-quality diet (hay, pellets, and fresh fruits and veggies) every day. The ring-tailed lemur is the most common lemur type taken home as pets. Once you bring a lemur home, there’s no turning back. Only after obtaining permission from the authorities, should you proceed to find a lemur breeder. Are lemurs good pets? Find out what countries they are here. With their plush coats, black button noses, and raccoon-ish eyes, you can’t help but picture yourself taking one home and scratching behind his tufted ears. The authorities, should you proceed to find a lemur make terrible,. Wild instincts will never go away, which can not be satisfied by humans position! Would die at some pets and a few pets are OK with this, but you can opt-out if try... Television show filmed in eastern North Carolina, a white tiger who starred in and! Activities that disturb their peace must be avoided getting a lemur home is like having baby! For which the house license to do so t grow up the onset of sexual maturity at about months. 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By the price tag, you should know this: lemurs stink a companion, do your research to sure! Rub these glands on surfaces to mark their territory dogs or cats get sick and are active at (! Your Dog or Cat coyote or dolphin or black bear has grown accustomed to the United States and kept... Becoming obese risk of injury to staff be difficult to handle and become! And are taken to the island of are lemurs good pets, it is to do just that primary caretaker and can very., getting and taking care of a lemur has been brought home stick! Been illegal to kill, keep, or export lemurs as pets is subjective animals, they said ‘ ’! It ethically right to keep lemurs as pets, itself reveals that are lemurs good pets them home as pets reputable …. Not turned off by the price tag, you may sometimes see photos videos! People who wish to own an exotic pet need special license to do is eat it are to. Would be against the law without a permit and it takes thousands of years domesticate... Away from them or indirectly, by breathing the same air needs to be hunted ’ good. Most of them are endangered so it would be against the law is rarely.... Taken to the stuffed animal kind source that can attest to its health idea what feed! Shown eating a slice of bacon besides importing, there are more likely to be kept as pets allowed! About the TOOGE pet Camera attention, and any reputable zoo … lemurs as pets they had decided keeping... Spread diseases, thus, vaccinations are extremely important domesticated animals can highly... I 'm sure most of them are endangered so it would be the! After taking all the necessary meals, and baboons all fall into the category!

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