Welcome Julieanne and Koopa!
This Lemur and Kinkajou arrived at Shy Wolf Sanctuary just days before Christmas. A bonded pair, they lived together for about 8 months in a private home. Julieanne arrived first and was very sad until her Koopa joined her at our Sanctuary.
Julieanne, a Madagascar Ring-tailed Lemur (Lemur catta), is about 1 year old. 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. 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 acquired at 4 months of age and was a good boy, but came with Julieanne since they are bonded to each other. The Kinkajou (Potos flavus) is a rainforest mammal of the family Procyanidae and is also known as the “honey bear”. They may live up to 40 years in captivity. Native to Central and South America, it is arboreal and rarely seen by people unless hunted for meat or pelt. It is most closely related to the raccoon, but is often mistaken for a ferret or monkey. He’s nocturnal and sleeps during the daytime, while she’s diurnal and active in the daylight. Although carnivorous, the majority of their diet is ripe fruits. Koopa will venture out in broad daylight for some delicious mango.
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.