Geriatric ring-tailed lemur sits on a thin tree branch, facing to the right of the photo

Ring-tailed lemur Aracus is the DLC’s oldest free-ranging animal. His age doesn’t dampen his sense of adventure! Photo by Sara Nicholson.

On May 23, 2024, a very special lemur celebrates a special occasion. Aracus, the oldest diurnal lemur currently living at the DLC, is turning 33!

Aracus, born in 1991 to mom Corinna, has lived at the DLC his entire life. Of the seventeen offspring that Aracus has sired over the course of his life, eight are still residents of our colony: Berisades, Alena, Lilah, Persephone, Brigitta, Gretl, Griselda, and Hedwig. He has had ten grandkids, many of whom live at zoos across America and continue to bring joy to visitors in every corner of the country.

Three ring-tailed lemurs sitting with leaves on a shelf.

Aracus (right) with breeding partner Liesl (left) and their daughter Gretl (middle). Liesl is the mother of seven of Aracus’ seventeen kids! Photo by David Haring.

At the DLC, Aracus has always been a staff favorite. “He and I are the same age,” says Seasonal Educator Zack Lord. “If he was a human, he and I would’ve gone to high school together. That’s incredible.” Veterinary Technician Maddie Pellegrini is similarly awed by this geriatric ring-tailed lemur’s lifespan. “Technically, he is older than me, and he impresses me with how he doesn’t let anything stop him.” Despite his age, this old lemur keeps pace with his troop’s dominant female, Liesl, when free-ranging in the very same fourteen-acre forest enclosure in which he lived the first decade of his life. “He runs around and climbs with all his ladies,” Pellegrini continues, “and he still has so much spunk.”

Geriatric ring-tailed lemur running towards camera

While Aracus, like many of our geriatric lemurs, suffers from arthritis, he takes daily medication to minimize pain and strain on his joints. Photo by Sara Nicholson.

Close up of three ring-tailed lemur females sitting.

Aracus currently lives with long-term breeding partner Liesl and their three youngest daughters (pictured). From left to right: Hedwig, Griselda, Gretl. Photo by Sara Nicholson.

To celebrate this phenomenal lemur, we reached out to the zoos and animal care facilities that house his kids and grandkids for updates on their lives. Take a look at some of Aracus’ amazing offspring!

Two male ring-tailed lemurs in the sun worshiping position, facing the camera

Two of Aracus’ sons, Kitka (formerly Johan) and Meeko (formerly Rolfe) enjoy the Florida sun at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park.

Ring-tailed lemur in the sun worshiping position, sitting on a rock in front of a blue sky

Ivan (formerly Ivy) is a beloved resident of the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio and is just as handsome as his father!

Ring-tailed lemur female walks quadrupedaly towards camera.

Basil, a lovely four-year-old female, is Aracus’ granddaughter by way of daughter Edelweiss and resides at the Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, Missouri.

Side-by-side images of ring-tailed lemurs clinging to trees

Aracus’ son Alexander (left) spent over a decade at the Maryland Zoo before recently relocating to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo. Alexander’s daughter, Fern (right), lives with him and was the first of Aracus’ grandkids to be born. Photos by David Haring.

Infant ring-tailed lemur clings to mom's back in the middle of the forest.

Aracus’ daughter Alena and her youngest son, Jasper, enjoy a quiet moment in their free-ranging enclosure at the Duke Lemur Center. Photo by Sara Sorraia.

Two ring-tailed lemurs cuddled up together on the forest floor, both looking up and to the left.

Persephone and Berisades, two of Aracus’ offspring, live together right here at the DLC on our summer tour path! Photo by Sara Nicholson.