Meet Julieanne, a Madagascar ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) who moved to Shy Wolf Sanctuary in December 2015 with her best friend Koopa the Kinkajou. She was approximately 1 year old at the time and had spent the last 8 months exclusively living with Koopa as a pet in a private home.
Female Lemurs are female dominant, which is what brought Julieanne to need a new home. Her owner loved her very much, but was starting to be attacked by this animal she had raised as her “baby”. Koopa was not a problem, but was rehomed with Julieanne since they seemed to be so bonded.
Julieanne appears to prefer men and adored a friend of the owner. It’s our hope that some of our male volunteers will be able to cultivate this same type of bond with her.
Despite reproducing readily in captivity and being the most populous lemur in zoos worldwide, numbering more than 2,000 individuals, the Ring-tailed Lemur is listed as endangered by the IUCN Red List (International Union for Conservation of Nature) due to habitat destruction and hunting for bush meat and the exotic pet trade. They are one of the most vocal primates and use different calls for group cohesion and alarm warnings. Ring-tailed Lemurs are diurnal (active during the day), omnivorous (eat plants & animals), and terrestrial.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) regulates exotic animals. Since the Lemur and Kinkajou are not on the list requiring Class I (most dangerous), Class II, or those not requiring a permit, they fall under the Class III license of “all other regulated exotics”. This is a free online permit and is how exotic pet stores can sell lemurs, kinkajous, skunks, or foxes.
We hope people will learn from Julieanne and Koopa’s story and reconsider buying exotic pets from pet stores.
11/05/16 We have enjoyed Julieanne and are pleased that she has found a new place where she can enjoy other lemurs of her own kind. Nancy and Melanie transported her to a primate facility in Jacksonville, FL and we are happy to report she is loving her new habitat!
“She arrived safe and sound. She is set up in the Lemur Lodge and since she was so relaxed, we went ahead and let some of the other lemurs into the rooms next to her. She is busy figuring out the new sights and sounds, but bravely. Your volunteers are staying at a nearby hotel and going to check back in on her in the morning before heading back. I’m pleased that she is not as fearful of the other lemurs as some others were at arrival. I think she will settle in and find a group quickly. She’s a pretty girl.”