Dear friends of the Duke Lemur Center,

I want thank all of you for your support of the DLC, and especially to so many of you who have reached out to us to see how you can help and to make sure we are okay as the world deals with the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The last ten days have been stunning in both the number of changes we have faced, and the degree of response and adaptations we have continued to make and implement in order to protect our communities and our irreplaceable colony of lemurs. Our experience in developing emergency plans and running drills periodically every year has prepared us quite well to handle these challenges. We are assessing current plans daily, making sure that every detail is addressed and new safety procedures are enacted quickly and smoothly. Once again, our incredible team has gone above and beyond in their efforts to make sure the lemurs have everything they need to remain safe and healthy during this time.

For the most up-to-date information about the DLC’s response to COVID-19, please bookmark the coronavirus response page on the DLC website. We’ll keep this page updated with information for the DLC’s friends and supporters as we continue taking steps to ensure the health of all our primates, staff and lemurs alike.

As you may have heard, the Duke Lemur Center has suspended both our tour and volunteer programs until further notice. We have also begun operating on our “essential personnel only” protocol, which is designed to minimize the spread of a contagious agent. Our animal care technicians and the veterinary department have not only been preparing the Lemur Center for this contingency, but also their families as they begin working a new schedule that will impact many aspects of their lives. This new schedule will help ensure we are able to maintain our excellent standard of care as well as prepare for the spring birth season.

I want to thank you all for your continued support and your words of encouragement and kindness. Please know we have the support of the university and a strong plan and team in place that will allow us to continue to care for the animals until this event subsides. Until then, we extend our thoughts and heartfelt hopes that you and your families remain healthy.

With sincere gratitude,
Greg Dye

Executive Director
March 18, 2020

There is no evidence that lemurs can contract COVID-19. However, DLC staff are – as always – taking precautions to ensure the minimum amount of germ transfer, including the use of gloves, masks, and other protective equipment. Here, lead Education Technician Faye Goodwin lends a hand counting mealworms for our nocturnal lemurs’ daily diets.

Thanks to warm temperatures here in North Carolina, our lemurs have enjoyed regular access to fresh air and sunshine. Here, lead Primate Technician Danielle Lynch watches while Coquerel’s sifakas Rodelinda, Marcus, and Eustace feast on new spring buds.