Hi there! 👋 Cornelia, a Coquerel's sifaka, munches on a crunchy oak leaf in her forested enclosure, while showing us her long fingers and general floofiness.
Here at the DLC, we house our sifakas in forest enclosures whenever possible. Typically, most groups gain access to 1-16 acres (0.4-6.5 ha) of Duke Forest when overnight temperatures remain reliably over 41F (5C). In winter, our sifakas gain sporadic access during warm spells; otherwise they're out in the woods full time.
The idea of "free-ranging" lemurs here dates back to the 1980s. The general hunch was that forest access could simultaneously advance research, husbandry, and conservation goals.
🍂 First, lemurs living under more natural conditions allows scientists to collect better data that are more relevant to what happens in the wild. For example, by allowing Cornelia to select the foods she eats, DLC researcher Lydia Greene, Ph.D. gets to ask about what types of nutrients she might be seeking out.
🍂 Second, forest access improves physical and mental health by providing endless opportunities to forage, exercise, and explore. Also, young animals learn natural behaviors from a young age that are retained through adult life.
🍂 Third, if captive lemurs are ever to be reintroduced to the wild, they must have intact natural behaviors, including foraging, locomotion, social, and predator avoidance skills. They must also show the same resilience to environmental conditions (e.g., heat and cold) as do their wild kin. Forest enclosures allow our lemurs to develop and safely practice some of these skills.
Of course, Cornelia has no idea that this is all going on. She is just living her best life with her family in her forest home 💚
Big thanks to DLC research scientist Lydia Greene the great photo and write-up! Follow Lydia's adventures @lemurscientist on Instagram. ... See MoreSee Less
Great photo! ♥️ My husband and I did the Walking With Lemurs tour years ago, and it was so awesome to see them in a natural habitat where they have room to roam and thrive. Love the work that y’all do.
Do you like getting your hands dirty and working outside? ☀️ Live near Durham, NC? If so, we need you!
We're looking for volunteers to help care for the DLC vegetable garden, pocket prairie, tropical garden, and landscaping around our grounds! To apply, visit lemur.duke.edu/get-involved/volunteer.
🥬 The veggie garden and various fruiting plants provide a supplemental organic food source for our resident lemurs.
🐝 The pocket prairie, tropical garden, and landscaping around the Center serve as food for native pollinators, while also beautifying the spaces where our guests tour and learn about our conservation mission.
🌿 Garden duties include planting, weeding, watering, harvesting, composting, and occasional hard labor of working the soil. No gardening experience necessary, but is always helpful. A two-hour commitment per week is required.
🐒 While at work in the gardens, volunteers are welcome to pause and watch the lemurs! ... See MoreSee Less
Only a couple of weeks 'til the holidays 😳 But don’t panic! Agatha is here to help!
Cross another gift off your list and help lemurs, too! But order soon... Supplies are limited: lemur.duke.edu/donate/adopt/holidayadoption
🎁 For your recipient: Symbolically adopt Agatha through our special Holiday Adoption Package ($100 USD), and we’ll send a custom-made plush aye-aye to you or your gift recipient, in addition to other goodies.
🎁 For lemurs: This gift isn’t just cute; it helps lemurs, too! Your adoption donation supports lemur care at the DLC—including top-notch veterinary care, high-quality food, and daily enrichment—and our programs that help conserve lemurs in the wild. Truly a #GiftForGood! ... See MoreSee Less
⏳⏳Crowned lemur Ma'at can't believe there are only two more days to order your Virtual Painting Packages if you want them to arrive in time for the holidays! Each package includes fantastic artwork made by lemurs and a personalized video of the adorable artists at work, PLUS all proceeds support our work to study and protect lemurs. We might be biased, but we think that's one heck of a unique and thoughtful holiday gift!
Leaping lemurs! This #GivingTuesday, we've already received a whopping $12,110 in online gifts! HUGE THANKS to everyone who's donated so far! ❤️
If you haven’t yet made a donation yet, the time is now! Adoption packages start at just $50 and make great holiday gifts! lemur.duke.edu/adopt
Or, visit lemur.duke.edu/donate to make a tax-deductible gift of any amount! Your support makes a BIG difference to the DLC's efforts to learn from and protect lemurs and their natural habitat 🇲🇬 ... See MoreSee Less
The aye-aye plush featured in this year’s Holiday Adoption Package was modeled after our very own Agatha!
Want to get your own AND help us protect these incredible animals? Visit lemur.duke.edu/adopt to symbolically adopt a lemur this holiday season! Every adoption supports lemur care at the DLC and our conservation programs in Madagascar 🇲🇬 Truly a #GiftForGood! ... See MoreSee Less
This #cybermonday, can you help us clear our amazon wishlist? 🥰
Shop now at duke.is/4aubm ❤️ Our lemurs love interactive feeders, fleecy blankets and tunnels for nesting, and nuts and dried fruits for training!
Select an item from our wishlist, and your present will be sent directly to the Lemur Center. Be sure to include your name and email address in the notes field so the lemurs can send a thank-you! ... See MoreSee Less
You know that #foodcoma feeling around Thanksgiving? Some lemurs do too, and that’s a good thing! Our fat-tailed dwarf lemurs have been busy gorging themselves to pack on the pounds (er, grams) they need for winter hibernation!