Lemurs are small primates native only to the island of Madagascar and the neighboring Comoro Islands off the coast of Africa. A group of lemurs usually has one dominant female who leads the group, controls their movement, and has first choice of food and mates. Madagascar’s lemurs are one of the most endangered animals on the planet. Ranging from threatened to near extinction, their natural habitat is extremely threatened by the ill effects of human-animal conflict as well as the natural resources being depleted in their homeland. Conservationists say the destruction of tropical rainforests due to illegal logging and hunting has pushed the primates to the brink of extinction.
With over 100 documented species of lemurs, Monterey Zoo houses four: ring-tailed, red-ruffed, brown, and black and white ruffed. Two of our lemurs, Guido and Pierre, have been with the Monterey Zoo’s education program since 1999, making them two of our most senior citizens.
It’s truly amazing how such a small animal make such a LOUD noise which you’ll no doubt hear on your visit from anywhere in the zoo. As fruit eaters, you’ll also notice they’re a bit messy which is how they effectively re-seed an entire rain forest to keep it healthy and full while also pollinating it with their hands, tails and faces. These are VERY special creatures, much deserving or our help and protection. We hope you’ll ask and learn as much as possible about how you can help while visiting Monterey Zoo.