Monday, January 19, 2009

Duke Lemur Center and an Arctic Front

Medusa - safe and warm inside the Duke Lemur Center
We've talked about how our lemurs spend the winter - safe and warm inside. We talked about how our Primate Technicians, who spend their days making certain the lemurs are healthy, well-fed, and housed in clean and safe environments, spend extra time making sure the winter enclosures are interesting and enriched.

But what about when it is really cold, like the last few days in North Carolina, when an Arctic Front has pushed through - what happens then? First, whenever the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, there are techs here day and night. The techs take turns being on call, so no one has to be on call more than one night. That way the people here are always awake and alert. In addition, the maintenance personnel adds an extra second and third shift to be on call in case of mechanical problems. Security also adds extra patrols to be sure both the techs and the animals are safe.

In addition to the regular heating system, portable kerosene furnaces are checked and ready to swing into action if needed, and Duke has created a state-of-the-art heating and cooling system that can move seamlessly between natural gas and propane, so the Lemur Center can switch to whichever is needed. The Lemur Center also has a back-up generator in case the power goes out.

Like school children, the lemurs stay inside until the daytime temperature reaches a certain level. For lemurs that is 41 degrees Fahrenheit. At 41 degrees, the animals can go into their yards for a good romp in the outdoors.

No comments:

Post a Comment