Two Brown Lemurs Turn 33 at the Zoo!

brown lemurThe Zoo is proud to announce that the brown lemurs are turning 33 on Thursday, April 14, 2016. They are some of the oldest brown lemurs at an Association of Zoos & Aquariums facility. Guests are invited to join the celebration at 3:00 p.m. on April 14 when a special enrichment, prepared for the occasion, is given to the brown lemurs.

The two brown lemurs at the Central Florida Zoo are sisters who were born on April 14, 1983 at BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo. They arrived at the Central Florida Zoo on December 11, 1984 on loan from BREC's and they have been at the Central Florida Zoo since. They have been animal ambassadors for their species at the Central Florida Zoo for over 30 years.

Lemurs are primitive primates called prosimians and are found only on the island of Madagascar. Prosimians differ from monkeys in that they have an elongated fox-like snout, their four lower canine teeth that lie flat and are used for grooming, and the second digit on their foot has a grooming claw. Brown lemurs, like all true lemurs, have binocular vision and long furry tails. They have a scent gland located at their wrist that is used in olfactory communication. Male and female brown lemurs are almost identical in size and color, but they have different fur patterns.

Major threats to brown lemurs in the wild are forest destruction, due primarily to slash-and-burn practices, charcoal production and illegal logging, but hunting is also increasingly becoming a large threat. Hunters use firearms, traps, blowpipes, and bow-and-arrows with entire groups sometimes being captured.