Friday, November 21, 2008

Winter at Duke Lemur Center

It snowed lightly this morning at the Duke Lemur Center. Fortunately, the lemurs are all safely tucked in their winter enclosures. The heaters are blowing warm air, and the Primate Technicians are busily feeding, caring for, and re-arranging the habitats to keep the lemurs' lives enriched during this time of year that allows less freedom.

Tours are still available, and while it may be somewhat more challenging for us humans (We look at the lemurs through windows in their enclosures, and wee ones will need to be lifted up to get a better look.) the lemurs see us as enrichment when we walk by and peek in. Of course, I don't know what goes on in lemur hearts and minds, but they appear to enjoy having us walk by. I wonder if they think, "Hmmm, she smells good," or "He looks like he might have a raisin to share. I'll try to lure that human over this way." I know there is something about the way they make eye contact, the way they pay attention to each other and to us, the expressiveness of those large eyes and gentle faces that draws us humans in and makes us want to do all we can to know more about these handsome animals and do all we can to protect them.

By the way, all the incredible pictures on this blog are taken by David Haring, our Duke Lemur Center Photographer and Registrar. Here is a link to more of David's work . Photos by David Haring


  1. Ahhh to be a lemur all safe and warm while we watch the Blue Devils play basketball!!

  2. Does it snow in Madagascar? What does a Lemur think when it snows?

  3. I'm going to refer your question about snow in Madagascar to Andrea Katz and Charlie Welch. They work at Duke Lemur Center and lived for 15 years on Madagascar. They will know the climate well. They won't guess about what lemurs think, because they are scientists. I'm just a communications person, so I get to have flights of fancy - and just watching lemurs, I'd say they would think, "Oooo, pretty! Cold! Can I eat it?

  4. > I know there is something about the way they
    > make eye contact

    They definitely have a special relationship with humans. Even in the wild they seem to treat us like big pink/brown hairless lemurs.