What happens when a geriatric lemur loses its mate? At the Duke Lemur Center, the staff tries to re-pair them with a new mate, even if it is from a different species!
Some species are so rare, it can be difficult to find a compatible new companion of the same species. If a solitary animal is too old to be transferred to another institution to live with “their own kind,” the staff will add them to another group/pair/singleton of a different species.
At first, the group is under careful surveillance while the staff look for key behaviors to see if they are working out; like nose greetings, grooming each other, sitting or eating together. Sometimes it does not go well and they need to be separated.
Lemurs are highly social animals (one of the many reasons it is harmful to keep them as a pet), so they would rather be paired up in a compatible odd couple than be alone.
If you liked this story and would like to support the Duke Lemur Center, they are holding a Valentine’s Day fundraiser! For a $25 minimum donation, the Duke Lemur Center will send a special Valentine’s Day video to you to share with those you love! Featuring the DLC’s lemurs playing with edible flowers, “candy” hearts, and even a kissing booth, this video valentine is guaranteed to warm the hearts of your loved ones. This year, all donations support the DLC’s conservation breeding program through the purchase of a new wireless handheld ultrasound!
Additional photos and videos courtesy of David Haring, Brittany Canfield, and Anna Lee of the Duke Lemur Center.