Mock "Time Person of the Year" magazine cover featuring blue-eyed black lemur Kidman

Photo by Sara Sorraia. Cover design by Abby Flyer.

We couldn’t let Taylor Swift have all the fun!

In a poll sent out to Duke Lemur Center staff, we asked for nominations for a new Lemur of the Year award. Primate technicians, veterinarians, researchers, educators, and administrators were given the opportunity to nominate a lemur who, in the words of TIME Magazine, “most affected the news and our lives… and embodied what was important about the year.” After careful consideration, we’ve decided to name blue-eyed black lemur Kidman the 2023 Lemur of the Year.

Kidman, 29, was born to parents Lamour and Rooney in March 1994. Fans have fallen in love with Kidman through her features on social media, her appearances on occasional Behind the Scenes tours, and her vast collection of finger painting masterpieces.

Primate technician Jodi S., who has worked with Kidman for years, has endless praise for this geriatric female. “She’s simply the best,” Jodi wrote in her nomination. “She’s a well-traveled lemur who can always roll with the flow. She has rarely met a lemur she can’t win over.” For many years, Kidman lived in the only pair of unrelated females living together at the DLC—a rarity in a female-dominant species such as the blue-eyed black lemur. “She broke the odds and lived compatibly with Poots when neither lady had a male companion available,” explained Jodi, “and she has now become an extremely important social companion to our dear Cardinal.”

Kidman’s positive impact on 2023 extends beyond her interactions with DLC staff. “We also cannot forget her incredible artistic talent and the many lives she’s impacted and given joy via her paintings,” Jodi noted. She holds the DLC record for most prolific painting session, having completed 31 works of art in a single sitting, and she is currently the oldest female lemur in the colony.

As the 2023 Lemur of the Year, we hope that Kidman represents resilience, kindness, and the joy of connection.

Close up of blue-eyed black lemur female Kidman with tongue sticking out of mouth

Photo by David Haring.