IN THIS ISSUE: How to (literally) help save a lemur's life; weathering Hurricane Florence; the best, most lemur-y gifts of 2018; fall at the DLC; and egg-eating aye-ayes.
THE DEFINITIVE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: LEMUR EDITION
Six amazing lemur-y gift ideas from $10 to $400, for everyone on your list – and these gifts “give back,” too, by supporting the care and conservation of lemurs here and in Madagascar!
What do all of the the lemurs and lorises pictured above have in common? Every one of them received life-saving treatment in the Duke Lemur Center’s intensive care (ICU) kennel!
Unfortunately, our existing ICU is beyond repair and in urgent need of replacement before birth season.This life-saving piece of equipment is essential for providing the highest-quality care for our resident lemurs and lorises... but a new one costs a whopping $10,000. This Giving Tuesday, please consider donating $10 or $25 to help our veterinary department purchase a new ICU.
An ICU kennel serves two crucial functions:
Warmth for ill or rejected infants: Rejected infants like blue-eyed black lemurs Presley and Margret, aye-aye Agatha, and ruffed lemur Cosmo do not have the ability to maintain their body temperature, and one of the first causes of infant mortality is hypothermia. Have you ever heard not to touch a baby animal because its mother will reject it? Actually, what is more critical is a cold infant. Mother birds often lack a sense of smell. They reject cold babies. Slowly warm that very infant and the mother will gladly take it back. The same is true for lemurs.
Critical care for adults: An ICU kennel can literally be a life-saver for seriously injured and ill adult lemurs who require oxygen supplementation along with temperature and humidity control. When an animal is critically ill, it can lose its ability to maintain its temperature or spend precious energy trying to stay warm. A temperature-controlled environment with the ability to supply humidity or nebulized medications can be the difference between life and death in these situations.
To learn more and to read stories about lemurs whose lives have been saved by the ICU, please visit our Giving Tuesday homepage.
To make a donation, please click either of the giving buttons below or write in a custom donation amount. Your gift at any level will make a difference. Thanks so much for for helping us literally save lemurs’ lives!
How do you prepare an irreplaceable colony of the world's most endangered mammals for the arrival of a nasty hurricane? From water barrels and extra food to generators, chainsaws, ponchos, and the incredible dedication of DLC staff, find out how we weathered Hurricane Florence this fall.
“Our staff has two families they’re prepping for the hurricane: their human families and the lemurs under their care,” said Greg Dye, Director of Operations and Interim Director of the DLC. “During the hurricane, they’ll be here alongside the lemurs… That’s an amazing level of commitment that separates us from a lot of other jobs. It’s incredible.”
What animal has the ears of a bat, the tail of a fox, the teeth of a beaver, and the hands of a witch? The weirdly wonderful aye-aye, of course!
Because a significant percentage of their diet consists of insect larvae that dwell inside trees, aye-ayes have evolved a specialized method for locating the larvae called percussive foraging. As they walk along a branch, the animals continuously and rapidly tap it with their middle finger. Cupping their huge ears forward, the aye-ayes listen intently to the echoing sounds coming from the tapped tree. When the sound indicates they are above an insect tunnel, the animals begin to tear off enormous chunks of the outer bark with their impressive teeth, until the insect tunnel is revealed. Then the aye-aye inserts its slender and highly flexible third finger into the hole, and when the prey is located, it is hooked with the tip of the finger and removed.
In this behind-the-scenes video, Ardrey and her daughter Elphaba use the same process to eat eggs from their technician, Mel: they tap, chew, then use their long flexible middle fingers to dip into and remove the yolks of the eggs. When they finish, the delicate eggshells remain fully intact, except for the small hole created by the aye-ayes’ strong front teeth!