Populations of wild ruffed lemurs are critically endangered in Madagascar, and yet the animals thrive in captivity, making this species an ideal candidate for re-introduction to the wild, assuming protected habitat is available. In fact, the first re-introduction of lemurs into protected habitat in Madagascar occurred in October, 1997 when five captive born ruffed lemurs were released into the Betampona Nature Reserve in eastern Madagascar.
These lemurs had been born, and had lived their entire lives, in the Natural Habitat Enclosures of the DLC. Since then, two more groups of captive born lemurs have been reintroduced into the Reserve, one in November, 1998, and the next in January of 2001. The latter two groups also received “boot camp” training in the DLC forested enclosures before departure to Madagascar.