Lemur Conservation Network
An important message from our friends at the Lemur Conservation Network which we wholeheartedly agree with.
We understand and certainly appreciate the strong connection people feel with lemurs. However, we firmly believe that the best way to ensure the safety and well-being of human and non-human primates is for non-human primates to receive care by professionally trained caregivers in environments that are designed to meet the social, physical, and cognitive needs of these complex creatures. In situ projects on the ground in Madagascar are working every day towards the betterment of wild lemurs’ natural habitats and we can only have hope for future population growths. In the meantime, it is important to respect the natural history of wildlife and not resign them to a role so vastly different from the one they are evolutionarily and ecologically equipped for.
If you are passionate about primates, consider volunteering at a sanctuary or your local zoological facility. If you are looking for a pet, please visit your local animal shelter. There are so many domesticated animals in need of a loving home. Visit our website at www.lemurreserve.org to learn more about our mission and conservation-breeding program led by expert population biologists that contributes to maintaining a true diverse gene pool for two endangered and two critically endangered species of lemur.
We are aware of a video circulating the internet recently of children in Madagascar playing with a pet ring-tailed lemur. While we understand the video may appear cute, and appreciate that the children are being gentle and kind to the lemur, please keep in mind a few things before deciding whether or not to share or ‘like’ the video yourself:
LCN along with our partners at Lemur Love, do not support holding, touching, feeding, or capturing wild lemurs. These animals are taken from the forests, illegally trafficked, and held in captivity, often in poor or unsuitable conditions, which can negatively affect animal health and welfare. They are also Endangered.
Illegal ownership of pet lemurs is a problem in Madagascar (between 2010-2013 there were an estimated 28,000 pet lemurs in Madagascar), and is now one of the major threats to wild lemur (especially ring-tailed lemur) populations, in addition to habitat loss and bushmeat hunting.
Recent scientific research has demonstrated that misrepresentation in imagery and media of primates leads to skewed public perceptions of their Endangered status in the wild, and makes them appear as suitable pets, which they are not.
Public contact with primates places both primates and humans at considerable risk of contracting zoonotic diseases from each other.
Many lemurs live in complex social groups and need contact with fellow lemurs for optimal psychological health and well-being. Isolation from conspecifics can cause profound and often permanent behavioral consequences in prosimians.
Removal from mother and subsequent hand rearing by humans can cause lemurs to demonstrate abnormal levels of aggression, and negatively affect reproductive and parental success. Many wild lemurs taken captive die as they are captured as young infants and cannot survive without their mother’s milk and attention