IN THIS ISSUE: COVID-19 update, 100 days of lemurs, Mother's Day specials, NEW Stay Away 5K and t-shirt design contest, online learning, and more
COVID-19 UPDATE: Letter from the DLC's Executive Director
I hope this letter finds you and your families safe and healthy. I am writing to let you know that all of the DLC’s animals and staff remain healthy as we enter our seventh week of modified operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are so fortunate to have such a dedicated and skilled staff, all of whom are unwavering in their commitment to providing the absolute best care for the animals despite the upheaval in their personal lives. Each day our animal care, veterinary, and curatorial teams leave their human families to care for our lemur family and have done an absolutely tremendous job.
CLOSED BUT STILL CARING: While the center is closed to all visitors, the expert care of our lemurs continues. The DLC is taking every precaution to ensure the health of all of our primates, humans and lemurs alike.
MOTHER'S DAY IS MAY 10! This year, we’re offering TWO very special gifts for the moms and other strong women in your life. Not only are these great gifts, but your donations support lemur care at the DLC and our conservation programs in Madagascar.
MOTHER'S DAY VIDEO PACKAGE: For a $25 donation, we’ll send you a special message with a link to an all-digital gift package – including a printable card and photo AND super cute video of lemur moms and offspring!
SIFAKA INFANTS ADOPTION PACKAGE: Featuring sifaka infants Terence and Didius, this gift lets your giftee follow the first year in the lives of our new infant sifakas! This 100% DIGITAL, 100% ADORABLE symbolic adoption package is available for a donation of just $50.
Mention “Mother’s Day” in the comments when you order, and we’ll also include a link to our Mother’s Day video – a $25 value!
100 DAYS OF LEMURS: April 7 marked the first day of 100 LEMURS, an international collaboration between the Duke Lemur Center and artist Rachel Hudson, an award-winning wildlife illustrator based in the UK!
Rachel is illustrating one lemur species each day for 100 days, partnered with text written by Duke Lemur Center researchers and education staff. We hope you’ll follow along Facebook and Instagram and discover lemurs’ incredible diversity, and why lemurs — the most endangered group of mammals on Earth — are so special, and so urgently in need of our protection.
CONSERVATION BREEDING PROGRAM: Who doesn't love baby lemurs?! The DLC’s conservation breeding program is coordinated with national and global partners to ensure the best possible future for lemurs in human care and in the wild. While these baby lemurs are adorable, they are also critically important to our future successes in preserving these precious animals.
MORE BABY LEMURS? YES, PLEASE! If you'd like to keep getting fun updates on baby lemurs, then we've got great news! We now have a brand new sifaka infant adoption package, featuring this year's infants Didius and Terence! Learn about sifaka infant development and family dynamics while helping care for all of the DLC’s lemurs! This all-digital symbolic adoption of two infant sifakas is available through May 31, 2020 for an adoption donation of just $50.
Above: Barbara Colyear Parkening, a lifelong animal advocate, in uniform as a zookeeper at the Los Angeles Zoo.
ANNOUNCING A NEW ENDOWMENT FOR THE DUKE LEMUR CENTER:
The Barbara Colyear Parkening Lemur Care Fund
“We’re honored to announce and celebrate this new fund to support care of the colony in perpetuity,” shared Greg Dye, Executive Director of the Duke Lemur Center. Read the story about this new endowment and planned gift on the DLC blog.
MEGA MADAGASCAR: Giant lemurs, enormous birds, and small hippos once roamed Madagascar and now their fossils are at the Duke Lemur Center! Meet the monsters with fossil curator Dr. Matt Borths, and learn how the fossil record is used to understand and conserve modern species.
As you watch, you may notice that Matt was quite... isolated during his talk. This is one of many adjustments we've made in light of COVID-19. If you'd like to learn more about how you can help support the work of our awesome staff during this time, please visit our Ways to Help page.
LET'S RUN! Just because we have to keep our distance, doesn’t mean we have to stay inside! Join the Duke Lemur Center for our very own #StayAway5K, with all proceeds benefiting lemur care and conservation! Register online, then run – or walk – a 5K, by yourself, on May 30 or 31. Your $30 registration fee benefits lemurs AND includes a Stay Away 5K commemorative t-shirt!
CONTEST ALERT! Attention artists of all ages: Before we can run or walk, we need an awesome t-shirt design for this event! Send us your t-shirt designs and, if yours is chosen, you'll win a very special prize pack AND your artwork will be printed on the t-shirts distributed to Stay Away 5K participants! Designs must be submitted by May 8.
ONLINE LEARNING: Check out our new videos and ways to experience the DLC online! In celebration of #EarthDay50, the DLC hosted an online learning extravaganza, with online talks and videos every hour from 9:00 AM ‘til 5:00 PM! Watch a video all about what we do, created by a 2019 undergraduate intern; see lemurs eating breakfast in the forest during a virtual Walking with Lemurs tour; attend a talk with DLC research scientist Dr. Lydia Greene; learn about our daily enrichment program; and hear from Dr. James Herrera about our conservation work in Madagascar!
THANK YOU, VOLUNTEERS! April 19-25 was National Volunteer Week, and here at the Duke Lemur Center, we have a lot of volunteers to be thankful for! In 2019, our volunteers donated 11,000+ hours of their time helping to care for the lemur colony, engaging with the public through our educational programs, working in our gardens and fossil lab, and assisting the staff across the center. Thank you all for sharing your time and talents with us!
Did you know that mouse lemurs are the smallest lemurs (and primates) on Earth? Their scientific genus name, Microcebus, is from the Greek roots are mikros and kebos — which translate to “small” and “monkey." This wild mouse lemur (Microcebus danfossi) was photographed in Madagascar by DLC research scientist Dr. Lydia Greene.