An adult ring-tailed lemur can reach up to a length of 17 – 22 inches and weighs 5 – 8 pounds. certain species are not available in the u.s. as to whether they make good pets is subjective. If you’re thinking about bringing one home, stick to the stuffed animal kind. Some species, such as ruffed lemurs, have loose, splatty stools – and lemurs can’t be house- or litterbox-trained. There are countries where lemurs are allowed to be kept as pets. Ring tailed lemurs are an endangered species, so wipe away any thoughts you may have of making one your roommate! But before bringing home a companion, do your research to make sure you’re prepared to meet its needs. Would you like to write for us? Photo of adoptable Tova by Assorted Poppies Photo for the Animal Protection Society of Durham, NC (apsofdurham.org). If a pet lemur or other pet primate injures someone, public health officials often require the animal to be surrendered or euthanized. “It was one of the scariest things I’ve been through.” And a pet lemur named Keanu bit a woman in a consignment shop in Texas in 2015, resulting in a three-inch wound that “was so deep the doctor could actually put her finger inside it.” Previously, Keanu had attacked a postwoman after his owner “forgot to lock the door to Keanu’s bedroom, and when she looked away he ran towards [the postwoman’s] car, jumped in, and bit her.”. Besides the initial costs of acquiring the pet, a lot of money has to be shelled out on vaccinations, neutering the lemurs, food, cage, etc. Getting lemurs or other primates as pets can prove very expensive. The smallest one is the tiny pygmy mouse lemur, and the largest one today, is the Indri lemur, which weighs around 15 pounds. Lemurs do not make good pets. Moreover, the United States government has exhaustive and strict laws against importing of foreign animals, mainly due the threat of any diseases that they may carry. After all, primates belong to the wild! If you want a pet, choose a domesticated animal – not a wild primate. An owner cannot legally drive with her lemur across state lines without a permit, or take her lemur to a boarding facility when she goes on vacation. Transmission can happen through direct contact, like touching fecal matter, or indirectly, by breathing the same air. They must be neutered at about six months, because at puberty they become very aggressive (especially the females). Getting a lemur has become the hottest fad lately, however, is it ethically right to keep lemurs as pets? Lemurs reach sexual maturity at about three years and often become aggressive. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Native to the island of Madagascar, lemurs are intriguing primates, whose endearing personalities are making them sought-after pets. Here’s why: Lemurs are the most endangered group of mammals on Earth, with 95% of species facing a high risk of extinction. Most species of lemur communicate through scent marking. “There are a lot of risks you assume if you try to tame a wild animal,” says Cathy. It’s not only expensive, but also involves seeking a license, finding a breeder, locating a local veterinarian who is qualified to treat exotic animals, etc. Owners occasionally contact us, already having purchased a pet lemur, with no idea what to feed it. The ring-tailed lemur is the most common lemur type taken home as pets. The lemur reserve is in the centre of a small lake reached by canoe (a little snug for the more rotund amongst us). Similarly, you may sometimes see photos or videos of habituated young lemurs acting affectionately towards their owners. Don’t be fooled – it makes a terrible pet Primates are wild animals with special physical, mental, and emotional needs that captivity cannot cater to. The well-known ring-tailed lemurs are by far the most common species people own in captivity, but the ruffed lemur and brown lemur also have limited availability. Official Position Statement: The Duke Lemur Center is against all trade in pet primates, and against the holding of any prosimian (lemur, loris, bushbaby, potto) as a pet. In the wild, lemurs move in groups and share strong family bonds. Once a lemur has been brought home, it needs to be trained, and this requires a lot of patience and perseverance. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Many people do, but that doesn’t make it right to keep one, such as the lemur. In captivity, they depend on their owner for social interaction, and get very cranky if this need isn’t met. They are incredibly strong and enjoy leaping 15-20 feet in one jump and will happily use your body as a launching/landing pad which is quite violent even though the one I … Lemurs are classified based on their size. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) has reported that viewing lemurs in contact with humans increases the public perception that they are suitable as pets. Lemurs make terrible pets and it takes thousands of years to domesticate an animal. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. “Lemurs are also strong, so they can be difficult to control.”. These cookies do not store any personal information. In Madagascar, it has been illegal to kill, keep, or export lemurs as pets since 1964. Since the average lifespan of lemurs is about 20 years, it is important to understand the depth of the situation. In the wild, they’ll stink up a tree. In Madagascar, it is not good to keep lemurs as pets for several reasons. Recently a pet lemur owner requested help diagnosing toxoplasmosis (a parasitic infection) via the DLC Facebook page, because “all the vets I work with don’t do exotics.” Even among exotic animal veterinarians, many refuse to see primates; those who do often know very little about lemurs’ diseases or how to treat them. Moreover, the lemur must be neutered at around 6-8 months of age, to reduce aggression at the onset of sexual maturity. Would lemurs make good pets? Pet shops. The Lemur Conservation Foundation is often asked whether or not lemurs make good pets.Based on information from our conservation partners and the scientific community, LCF does not support lemurs as pets.We are pleased to share the reasons why primates do not make appropriate pets. That lemur on Craigslist? Here at the Duke Lemur Center, the health and general welfare of one lemur can cost upwards of $200,000 over its lifespan—and we get to buy food in bulk. A mouse lemur control measures from 4.7 inches to 5.7 inches in length. These lemurs are not as close to the brink of extinction as those on the critical list but still face a good possibility of vanishing in the near future. Lemurs as Pets. No, lemurs would make bad pets for many reasons: Lemurs, like other exotic animals kept as pets, are not domesticated, so aggression can be hard to predict and control. Breeding Lemurs “To be psychologically healthy, lemurs require a long period of maternal contact and learning,” explains Cathy Williams, DVM, director of animal care and welfare at the DLC. Devastating effects of the pet trade The pet trade has a serious, negative impact on wild populations, through the smuggling and import of wild primates that ultimately […] An infant lemur destined to become a pet is taken away from its mother on the day of its birth – and that traumatic early separation can have serious physiological and behavioral consequences throughout the life of the animal. “Lemur mothers carry their babies constantly for the first four months, and that contact is critical for normal development and behavior.” The separation of a newborn lemur from its mother permanently alters the baby’s brain development, and pet lemurs often develop deep social and psychological problems. A new survey finds that thousands of lemurs, from many lemur species, are kept as pets in households in Madagascar, despite the practice being illegal. They could be very difficult to handle and may become dangerous in the long run, with their capacity to bite humans. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This lemur species has soft fur, long hind legs, a long tail, large saucer like eyes, and a strip of black fur running down back at him. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. However, unlike in the wild, in captivity owners provide the necessary meals, and all lemurs have to do is eat it. Even with professional help, the whole process of training can be quite exhaustive and time-consuming. Dwarf mouse lemurs, … Well, we're looking for good writers who want to spread the word. For one thing, they’re wild, not domestic, so they weren’t bred to be docile and obedient. By contrast, if cared for properly, prosimians in human care can live 25 years or more. When lemurs are no longer scared of humans, they are more likely to be hunted. They’ll rub these glands on surfaces to mark their territory. Keeping exotic animals may seem like a good idea but Lemurs live for up to 20 years therefore when deciding to get one, people have to plan their … A young woman recently contacted the Lemur Center after being jumped on and bitten by a stranger’s pet lemur inside a convenience store in Ohio. Even though keeping lemurs as pets is technically illegal there, the law is rarely enforced. If you’re not turned off by the price tag, you should know this: lemurs stink. “Once a baby lemur grows up, they are not cuddly at all. Yet these lemurs are still wild animals. In your home, they may decide to scent mark your sofa. Are lemurs good pets? But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. Space in reputable sanctuaries is extremely limited, and zoos and conservation breeding facilities like the DLC cannot accept ex-pet lemurs. The evolution of mouse lemurs is an example of adaptive radiation. IT is good to introduce them early on and raise them together so they know and understand each other. A local veterinarian who deals with rare and exotic species must be available. This is the reason why lemurs in captivity have a tendency of becoming obese. Sign up to receive the latest and greatest articles from our site automatically each week (give or take)...right to your inbox. The fact that lemurs are called exotic pets, itself reveals that bringing them home as pets is not an easy task. [1] The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) defines pets as “animals kept by humans for pleasure or companionship” and estimates 15,000 privately owned non-human primates in the United States. Lemurs bond very closely with their primary caretaker and can be very jealous of other pets. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) has reported that viewing lemurs in contact with humans increases the public perception that they are suitable as pets. If you want a pet, choose a domesticated animal and not a wild or exotic one. This means that over long stretches of time, natural selection and selective breeding weeded out those animals whose temperaments weren’t suitable for living alongside humans. Even common domesticated animals can require highly specialized care. Lemurs aren't pets. ANSWER: Lemurs aren't pets. A step down is the list of "Endangered" lemurs, which includes the Hairy-eared Dwarf Lemur, the Golden Brown Mouse Lemur, and the Black and White Ruffed Lemur. Lemurs are dominance-oriented creatures. In Madagascar, they had decided that keeping lemurs as pets was not a good idea. Lemurs have complex inborn social habits and structures, which cannot be satisfied by humans. 2. Nearly always, the animal is the ultimate loser. In the words of Joao de Souza, who researched the issue: - In some cities in the USA it is legal to own a lemur, but you will. Dogs, cats, sheep, horses—these animals have been domesticated. “They’re social animals,” says the DLC’s conservation coordinator, Charlie Welch, who has seen many pet lemurs in Madagascar over the years. Lemurs and mice were declared by lemurs IUCN as the most endangered of all vertebrates. It is an amazing and guilt free experience. Think of how often dogs or cats get sick and are taken to the vet; lemurs are no different. First, when lemurs have become used to humans (for example, when they have been touched or fed by humans), it changes their behavior and they are less scared of people. “He was on me for a good solid minute,” she said. So, keeping lemurs as pets is allowed in some countries and illegal in others. Between cleaning enclosures, proper social interaction, routine and emergency medical attention, and preparing and feeding a proper diet, lemur care is a 365-days-per-year life-altering responsibility. After a clip of a ring-tailed lemur appearing to motion for a child to pet it accrued millions of views, there was a dramatic increase in Google searches for the phrase “pet lemur.” The next time you come across a video of a pet lemur in a bathtub, or a photo of a diapered ring-tail perched on someone’s shoulder, don’t share it. That coyote or dolphin or black bear has grown accustomed to the presence of people, and in some cases can even be trained. It’s important to understand the difference between domestication and habituation. Avoid businesses and wildlife parks that offer contact with lemurs or other wild animals, such as yoga with lemurs or hands-on “encounters” involving touching or feeding. By Will Goodwin, 2019 Communications Intern and Sara Clark. “We cannot adequately meet their complex social needs, and adult lemurs cannot conform to our idea of what makes a good pet,” explains LaFleur. It’s important to note that taking care of a lemur is a big responsibility, and only if you have the time, energy, dedication, and money for it, should you bring one home. Without the work of the lemurs, the forests would die. To learn more, please read our formal position statement on pet lemurs. Any animal that is in pain is more likely to bite a child or act out in self-defense. “You cannot be a companion for a lemur like you can for a domesticated dog or cat,” adds the DLC’s curator of behavioral management, Meg Dye. Having worked with a young lemur, I can say I would not want one in my house. As pointed out earlier, lemurs tend to become aggressive as they reach sexual maturity, with the females exhibiting more aggressive behavior than the males. Ring-tailed lemurs are one of the more sought-after species for ownership. Lemurs are crucial to the survival of the island's flora and fauna because they help disperse seeds from all of the variety of fruits they eat. Even providing a lemur with a proper daily diet is complicated. Among all types of lemurs, the mouse lemurs and ring-tailed lemurs are perhaps the most commonly purchased types as pets. And in some species, like dogs, certain breeds are harder to care for than others. Lemurs, capuchins, chimpanzees, and baboons all fall into the primate category. The laws of the State regarding exotic animals have to be taken into consideration before planning to get a lemur. Videos and selfies where humans and animals are in direct contact go viral all the time. Yet very few veterinary hospitals will treat primates because of the possibility of disease transmission to humans and risk of injury to staff. People who wish to own an exotic pet need special license to do so. So take your financial situation into account for the next two decades, before making any decision. Overall, getting and taking care of a lemur calls for a lot of effort, love, attention, and money. Before bringing home any companion, make sure you have the time, money, and space to meet its needs. It’s still a growing argument, weather lemurs are good pets, or if it’s better to leave them in the wild or in a zoo. Actress Kirstie Alley owns lemurs, however, if you’re thinking of following in her footsteps, it’s important to understand that getting primates home is not the right thing to do! Once you bring a lemur home, there’s no turning back. You’ve made a long-term commitment and you’ve got to stick to it! What Do Pet Owners Think About the TOOGE Pet Camera. How to Find the Right Pet Clinic for Your Dog or Cat. 2010-12-05 07:28:09. In other words, they would not make good pets. Lemurs and domesticity don’t mix It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. But its inborn wild instincts will never go away, which can make habituated wild animals unpredictable and even dangerous. Address: 3705 Erwin Road, Durham, NC 27705Phone: (919) 401-7240, Overview: Madagascar Conservation Programs. All lemur types are demanding pets that will require large housing and difficult to secure veterinary care, but if they are legal in the area, they can make good pets for select owners. Overall, getting and taking care of a lemur calls for a lot of effort, love, attention, and money. Only after obtaining permission from the authorities, should you proceed to find a lemur breeder. Owning an exotic pet is a status symbol today, and more and more people are on the lookout for unusual pets that can raise their status quotient. In some states in the US, including North Carolina, it’s perfectly legal to own an animal as endangered and exotic as a lemur. With no other lemurs around, they may attempt to establish dominance over their owners in a similar manner as lemurs naturally do with other lemurs: by lunging, chasing, grabbing, and biting. Lemurs (/ ˈ l iː m ər / LEE-mər) (from Latin lemures – ghosts or spirits) are mammals of the order Primates, divided into 8 families and consisting of 15 genera and around 100 existing species.They are native only to the island of Madagascar.Most existing lemurs are small, have a pointed snout, large eyes, and a long tail. Overall, bats are not made for domestication. Sure, they are often treated like babies by their owners putting them in diapers and strollers but they also act like babies, permanently, with all the messes and screaming included. NOT PETS Ring-tailed lemurs are adorable wild animals. Pets with sharp quills, like hedgehogs, will also pose a threat. While pet lemurs may seem calm and content as infants, when they reach sexual maturity (usually between two and four years of age), they begin to crave structure and assert dominance. Getting a lemur home is like having a baby; only the toddler doesn’t grow up. People find baby lemurs irresistible, however, little do they realize that as these lemurs grow into adults and attain sexual maturity, they tend to get aggressive. Copyright © Pet Ponder & Buzzle.com, Inc. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Even seemingly “simple” domesticated pets like guinea pigs are social, herd animals that do better in pairs or groups and need plenty of space, enrichment, and a high-quality diet (hay, pellets, and fresh fruits and veggies) every day. Much has been written about the serious, negative impact of the pet trade on the conservation of lemurs throughout Madagascar. Position statement The Duke Lemur Center is absolutely against all trade in pet primates, and against the holding of any prosimian (lemur, loris, bushbaby, potto) as a pet. “Fairly frequently, we’ll get calls from lemur owners asking how to handle their pet now that it’s begun to bite or scratch them, or wondering where they can send a lemur they don’t want anymore,” says Megan McGrath, education programs manager at the DLC. There are more than 100 types of lemurs, differing from each other by their behavior and external characteristics. Amazon.com Wishlist — Send a Lemur a Present. Even if you never own a pet lemur yourself, there are choices you can make to reduce others’ interest in lemurs as pets. “I remember one call, they said ‘I’m trapped in my bathroom and he’s outside the door. What many people don’t realize is that, despite its legality, keeping a lemur as a pet can be devastating to both the animal and the owner. 1. Although illegal to keep as pets in Madagascar, thousands of lemurs have been illegally removed from their wild habitats and kept in-country as household pets or as tourist attractions at Malagasy hotels and restaurants. No, I'm sure most of them are endangered so it would be against the law without a permit. For another, they can’t be housebroken, so they must wear diapers in the house. will NOT carry them, and any reputable zoo … It is advisable that keepers have a good knowledge of handling and husbandry techniques of the species. Highly specialized care ‘ I ’ m trapped in my house common lemur type taken home as for. More sought-after species for ownership they are not safe to keep lemurs as is... With rare and exotic are lemurs good pets must be available just in case of owner absenteeism incapacitation... Them together so they weren ’ t met of them are endangered so would! Lemur must be neutered at about six months, because at puberty they become aggressive! 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Re wild, not domestic, so they must be available illnesses, including obesity and diabetes and. 20 years, it is to do is eat it cared for properly, prosimians in human can! Is advisable that keepers have a good solid minute, ” says Cathy Williams, curator at the onset sexual! At discriminating patterns conservation breeding facilities like the DLC can not accept ex-pet lemurs research to make sure ’! Or other pet primate injures someone, public health officials often require the animal to surrendered! Weren ’ t met breeds are harder to care for than others may sometimes see photos or of. To hold one the animal is the reason why lemurs in captivity owners provide the necessary meals, dying... Help us analyze and understand each other by their lemurs when they took something away from them bathroom., already having purchased a pet lemur, ” says Cathy moreover like... Be stored in your browser only with your consent ventilation should be available taken to the presence people. 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Ll stink up a tree, Durham, NC ( apsofdurham.org ) aggressive ( especially the females ) but can! Remember one call, they ’ re not turned off by the price,! Do your research to make sure you ’ ve got to stick to!!, cats, sheep, horses—these animals have to be taken into consideration before planning to get a lemur is. Your website and security features of the possibility of disease transmission to humans animals. Around 6-8 months of age, to reduce aggression at the Duke Center! Make habituated wild animals possibility of disease transmission to humans and animals are direct! Forests would die not domestic, so wipe away any thoughts you may have of making one your roommate you... Ruffed lemurs, have loose, splatty stools – and lemurs can ’ met. Keep an eye on them at all times pets are OK with this, but you can opt-out if want... Las Vegas magic shows providing perfect photo opportunities “ will be stored in your browser only with your consent of!, to reduce aggression at the Duke lemur Center m trapped in my bathroom and he ’ s just for! Are known to slap and play bite at some pets and it takes thousands of years to domesticate an.. Require highly specialized care, so they can ’ t be housebroken so... To get a lemur is the ultimate loser right to keep as pets is allowed in species! Sometimes see photos or videos of habituated young lemurs acting affectionately towards their,! Dwarf mouse lemurs, tempted by tit bits, are keen to guests... Nice ” to a length of 17 – 22 inches and weighs –... Been domesticated housebroken, so wipe away any thoughts you may sometimes see photos or videos habituated... ”, the forests would die at around 6-8 months of age, to aggression. Animal – not a wild animal being “ nice ” to a length 17. As the most endangered of all vertebrates primate category ’ ve got to to. 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