Native to the island of Madagascar, lemurs are intriguing primates, whose endearing personalities are making them sought-after pets. NOT PETS Ring-tailed lemurs are adorable wild animals. And because they’re primates like us, humans and lemurs can easily pass diseases to one another, including tuberculosis and intestinal infections like giardia. 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. Think of how often dogs or cats get sick and are taken to the vet; lemurs are no different. 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. We hope you are enjoying PetPonder! Sign up to receive the latest and greatest articles from our site automatically each week (give or take)...right to your inbox. Even if you never own a pet lemur yourself, there are choices you can make to reduce others’ interest in lemurs as pets. Here’s why: Lemurs are the most endangered group of mammals on Earth, with 95% of species facing a high risk of extinction. 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. Even after taking all the necessary precautions, it is very important to keep an eye on them at all times. All lemur types are demanding pets that will require large housing and difficult to secure veterinary care, but if they are legal in the area, they can make good pets for select owners. Even common domesticated animals can require highly specialized care. 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. There are more than 100 types of lemurs, differing from each other by their behavior and external characteristics. Pets with sharp quills, like hedgehogs, will also pose a threat. 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. 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). 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. 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! 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. Don’t be fooled – it makes a terrible pet These cookies do not store any personal information. Ring tailed lemurs are an endangered species, so wipe away any thoughts you may have of making one your roommate! Overall, getting and taking care of a lemur calls for a lot of effort, love, attention, and money. They must be neutered at about six months, because at puberty they become very aggressive (especially the females). The answer is no. 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. Lemurs as Pets. 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. These animals have a safe and near natural haven. But its inborn wild instincts will never go away, which can make habituated wild animals unpredictable and even dangerous. Whichever pet you choose, make sure to get it from a reputable source that can attest to its health. 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. Primates are wild animals with special physical, mental, and emotional needs that captivity cannot cater to. “He was on me for a good solid minute,” she said. 7 facts about lemurs. That coyote or dolphin or black bear has grown accustomed to the presence of people, and in some cases can even be trained. Are lemurs good pets? They’ll rub these glands on surfaces to mark their territory. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. The fact that lemurs are called exotic pets, itself reveals that bringing them home as pets is not an easy task. 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. In Florida, an escaped pet lemur attacked a 21-year-old pre-med student outside her grandparents’ home. If you want a pet, choose a domesticated animal – not a wild primate. So take your financial situation into account for the next two decades, before making any decision. 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. According to the American Kennel Club, keeping the average dog healthy and fulfilled will set you back $15,000 over a typical thirteen-year lifespan. 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. Would lemurs make good pets? Getting a lemur has become the hottest fad lately, however, is it ethically right to keep lemurs as pets? When you see a wild animal being “nice” to a human, it’s likely become habituated to humans. Even with professional help, the whole process of training can be quite exhaustive and time-consuming. In a reality television show filmed in eastern North Carolina, a lemur is shown eating a slice of bacon. Without the work of the lemurs, the forests would die. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your 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. Would you like to write for us? Not every country has the same laws. It’s important to understand the difference between domestication and habituation. have some very hard time trying to find one for sale. Ring-tailed lemurs have grayish-brown bodies with rings of black and white fur on their tails. Its height can reach 1 meter and weight – 10 kilograms. 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 … certain species are not available in the u.s. as to whether they make good pets is subjective. In Madagascar, they had decided that keeping lemurs as pets was not a good idea. 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. Since the average lifespan of lemurs is about 20 years, it is important to understand the depth of the situation. Yet these lemurs are still wild animals. Lemurs, capuchins, chimpanzees, and baboons all fall into the primate category. Most species of lemur communicate through scent marking. How do I escape?’”, The risks aren’t limited to lemurs’ owners. NOT PETS Ring-tailed lemurs are adorable wild animals. 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. 1. Lemurs and domesticity don’t mix Many people do, but that doesn’t make it right to keep one, such as the lemur. 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. Overall, getting and taking care of a lemur calls for a lot of effort, love, attention, and money. 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. 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. The laws of the State regarding exotic animals have to be taken into consideration before planning to get a lemur. In one case, the owners of a ring-tailed lemur named Milo were feeding him pizza and ice cream. 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. Lemurs make terrible pets and it takes thousands of years to domesticate an animal. Amazon.com Wishlist — Send a Lemur a Present. Transmission can happen through direct contact, like touching fecal matter, or indirectly, by breathing the same air. Lemurs bond very closely with their primary caretaker and can be very jealous of other pets. “Lemurs make terrible pets,” says Cathy Williams, curator at the Duke Lemur Center. “I remember one call, they said ‘I’m trapped in my bathroom and he’s outside the door. 2010-12-05 07:28:09. When lemurs are no longer scared of humans, they are more likely to be hunted. 2. But before bringing home a companion, do your research to make sure you’re prepared to meet its needs. Unfortunately this can lead to privately-held pet lemurs developing a host of illnesses, including obesity and diabetes, and dying prematurely. 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. Some species, such as ruffed lemurs, have loose, splatty stools – and lemurs can’t be house- or litterbox-trained. Dwarf mouse lemurs, … Lemurs are dominance-oriented creatures. Lemurs make poor pets. 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. In the wild, lemurs move in groups and share strong family bonds. Ring-tailed lemurs are one of the more sought-after species for ownership. 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 … 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. The largest among them is the Indri lemur. Much has been written about the serious, negative impact of the pet trade on the conservation of lemurs throughout Madagascar. Address: 3705 Erwin Road, Durham, NC 27705Phone: (919) 401-7240, Overview: Madagascar Conservation Programs. 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. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. 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. Any animal that is in pain is more likely to bite a child or act out in self-defense. It is an amazing and guilt free experience. Once a lemur has been brought home, it needs to be trained, and this requires a lot of patience and perseverance. “They’re social animals,” says the DLC’s conservation coordinator, Charlie Welch, who has seen many pet lemurs in Madagascar over the years. If you’re thinking about bringing one home, stick to the stuffed animal kind. 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. 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. 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. 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. “Lemurs are also strong, so they can be difficult to control.”. Keeping exotic animals may seem like a good idea but Lemurs live for up to 20 years therefore when deciding to get one, people have to plan their … Overall, bats are not made for domestication. By Will Goodwin, 2019 Communications Intern and Sara Clark. In the wild, lemurs feed on fruits, nuts, insects, etc., whereas, in captivity lemurs are mostly fed fruits, primate biscuits, fiber sticks, etc. The smallest one is the tiny pygmy mouse lemur, and the largest one today, is the Indri lemur, which weighs around 15 pounds. “Once a baby lemur grows up, they are not cuddly at all. Many lemurs born in captivity find their way to the United States and are kept as pets. 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. 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. 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. While there are many pet owners who have successfully managed to raise lemurs as pets, others have been attacked and injured. Lemurs are primates which much like monkeys, they carry diseases and usually are very bad tempered, at least the ringtails have a nasty disposition. Breeding Lemurs Since lemurs are wild animals, they are not safe to keep as pets. Lemurs have complex inborn social habits and structures, which cannot be satisfied by humans. An adult ring-tailed lemur can reach up to a length of 17 – 22 inches and weighs 5 – 8 pounds. 6789 Quail Hill Pkwy, Suite 211 Irvine CA 92603. 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. 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. Furthermore, bats are also said to be good at discriminating patterns. Before bringing home any companion, make sure you have the time, money, and space to meet its needs. When kept indoors as pets, good ventilation should be provided for to allow sufficient airflow. In Madagascar, it is not good to keep lemurs as pets for several reasons. The ring-tailed lemur is the most common lemur type taken home as pets. After all, primates belong to the wild! If you’re not turned off by the price tag, you should know this: lemurs stink. Only after obtaining permission from the authorities, should you proceed to find a lemur breeder. And keeping lemurs as pets just isn’t good for lemurs. 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. “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. Moreover, like humans, lemurs can also contract and spread diseases, thus, vaccinations are extremely important. Countless laws regulate the ownership of exotic and/or wild animals. “You cannot be a companion for a lemur like you can for a domesticated dog or cat,” adds the DLC’s curator of behavioral management, Meg Dye. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Videos and selfies where humans and animals are in direct contact go viral all the time. The lemurs, tempted by tit bits, are keen to welcome guests by jumping on shoulders and heads and providing perfect photo opportunities. 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 […] This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Similarly, you may sometimes see photos or videos of habituated young lemurs acting affectionately towards their owners. 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. Dogs, cats, sheep, horses—these animals have been domesticated. That lemur on Craigslist? People who wish to own an exotic pet need special license to do so. 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. The lemur reserve is in the centre of a small lake reached by canoe (a little snug for the more rotund amongst us). Lemurs reach sexual maturity at about three years and often become aggressive. 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. 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! They are known to slap and play bite at some pets and a few pets are OK with this while others are not. “Lemurs’ teeth are made for slashing,” says Cathy. 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. “There are a lot of risks you assume if you try to tame a wild animal,” says Cathy. A local veterinarian who deals with rare and exotic species must be available. A famous example is Mantecore, a white tiger who starred in Siegfried and Roy’s legendary Las Vegas magic shows. In the wild, they’ll stink up a tree. Their ingrained social structure requires an alpha, generally a female. They are also known to slap their owners, when irritable. If you want a pet, choose a domesticated animal and not a wild or exotic one. This article addresses a related, but different, issue – one that’s even closer to home: the pet lemur trade right here in the United States. “We cannot adequately meet their complex social needs, and adult lemurs cannot conform to our idea of what makes a good pet,” explains LaFleur. As pointed out earlier, lemurs tend to become aggressive as they reach sexual maturity, with the females exhibiting more aggressive behavior than the males. A second appointed competent handler should be available just in case of owner absenteeism or incapacitation. “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. 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. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Having worked with a young lemur, I can say I would not want one in my house. will NOT carry them, and any reputable zoo … [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. They are cute and childlike but are not a substitute for human babies. 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. Pet shops. In other words, they would not make good pets. In addition to scent marking with their glands, lemurs will urine mark just as frequently. Among all types of lemurs, the mouse lemurs and ring-tailed lemurs are perhaps the most commonly purchased types as pets. No, I'm sure most of them are endangered so it would be against the law without a permit. 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. Lemurs and mice were declared by lemurs IUCN as the most endangered of all vertebrates. Even though keeping lemurs as pets is technically illegal there, the law is rarely enforced. And in some species, like dogs, certain breeds are harder to care for than others. Getting a lemur home is like having a baby; only the toddler doesn’t grow up. They chiefly live in trees (), and are active at night (). 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! Photo of adoptable Tova by Assorted Poppies Photo for the Animal Protection Society of Durham, NC (apsofdurham.org). Lemurs do not make good pets. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. This means social interaction means a lot to them. ANSWER: Lemurs aren't pets. So, keeping lemurs as pets is allowed in some countries and illegal in others. Moreover, the lemur must be neutered at around 6-8 months of age, to reduce aggression at the onset of sexual maturity. Moreover, since they get disturbed by loud noises, activities that disturb their peace must be avoided. Are making them sought-after pets most common lemur type taken home as pets instincts will never go away, can... By breathing the same air ownership of exotic animals as pets are wild animals browser only with your consent makes... Means social interaction, and are kept as pets for several reasons please. If a pet lemur, I 'm sure most of them are endangered so it be. The possession of exotic animals as pets was not a wild or exotic.! 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