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"it was clear, immediately, they wanted to be together"
July 8, 2014 3:41 PM   Subscribe

For these endangered lemurs, it was love at first sight
There's puppy love, there's muskrat love, but there is nothing like the love of two middle-aged, critically endangered lemurs.… Dern, 17, had lost her mate at the Waco, Texas, zoo several months ago, and Anthony, 16, had recently been separated from his brother when he was sent to another zoo. Although both were accustomed to living with ring-tailed lemurs, it wasn't the same…. Both were lonely.
posted by Lexica (13 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

"We let them out, and they copulated nonstop for three or four days. Now they're relaxing a little."

awwwww lemurs in love!
posted by insectosaurus at 3:52 PM on July 8 [6 favorites]

Yeah, but I think the female is a "loaner", I think the Waco zoo expects her back. I hope the find a way to keep them together.
posted by dejah420 at 4:00 PM on July 8

Anthony : Did I ever tell ya that this here jacket represents a symbol of my individuality, and my belief in personal freedom?

Dern: About fifty thousand times.

posted by srboisvert at 4:18 PM on July 8 [7 favorites]

It's not unusual for a zoo to own an animal that remains at another zoo for years, sometimes decades. Given the very low number of blue-eyed lemurs, both in zoos and the wild, if they are a compatible match and produce baby lemurs I'd think they are likely remain together. There's normally an ownership agreement for any offspring, so the Waco zoo would own some or all offspring, if they wanted blue-eyed lemurs back on exhibit. It kind of depends on who is running the SSP and how highly they rank animal welfare in their heuristics, as opposed to pure genetics and zoo desire for draws.
posted by tavella at 4:31 PM on July 8 [3 favorites]

I'm glad these two love each other. I think I've defended zoos some on The Blue, but captivity is hard on animals. A compatible mate can make a LOT of difference, just as it would for human beings.
I hope they have some babies. They're rare. There aren't enough blue-eyed ring tailed lemurs on earth.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 5:39 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]

There aren't enough blue-eyed ring tailed lemurs on earth.

I'll say; there aren't any at all. These are blue-eyed black lemurs.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:08 PM on July 8

Apparently there are only two successfully breeding females in the entire NA zoo population of 28, both at Duke Lemur Center, so if their compatibility leads to offspring, it will be a huge win for genetic diversity. And with possibly less than 500 left in the wild and no dedicated reserve for them, it's one of those animals that a zoo population may really act as a necessary ark for.
posted by tavella at 6:14 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]

I saw those Duke lemurs just a couple weeks ago! Duke technically owns a lot of the lemurs that live at other zoos, so those long-term loans definitely happen.
posted by leesh at 6:23 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]

Yeah, it looks like Duke may in fact own all the blue-eyed lemurs in the US -- the zoos that note ownership all have them listed as on loan from Duke, and they all follow the Duke naming pattern (blue-eyed famous people.)
posted by tavella at 6:39 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]

That's true--two of the ones I saw were half-brothers named Hemsworth and Hiddleston.
posted by leesh at 6:48 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]

"We let them out, and they copulated nonstop for three or four days. Now they're relaxing a little."

They are, after all, teenagers...
posted by Pudhoho at 10:19 PM on July 8

Geez, what's a primate got to do to get a little privacy around here?
posted by digitalprimate at 2:50 AM on July 9

It's the zoo, digitalprimate. GOOD LUCK WITH THAT.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:03 AM on July 9

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