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Ring-tailed Lemurs Indoors for Winter

The Ring-tailed lemurs have to come inside when it’s cold. They are an endangered species from the island of Madagascar and can’t handle the cold in North Texas.

Please stay at least six (6) feet away from their cage. Like many other animal species, lemurs are susceptible to Covid-19. We appreciate your cooperation in protecting them from people who may unknowingly be infected with the virus.

Our pair of Ring-tailed lemurs were rescued from a life of being backyard breeders near Austin, TX. Because they did not produce any young, they were put on an online exotic animal auction. The manager of a North Texas veterinary clinic saw them up for auction and rescued them, after which she contacted the Heard Museum.

In the wild, Ring-tailed lemurs eat leaves, flowers and insects. They spend most of their day searching for food. At the Heard Museum, they are fed a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and primate biscuits. This species is prone to obesity in captivity, so their diet is managed carefully. They live in social groups dominated by females. Males move out of a social group when they reach sexual maturity.

Ring-tailed lemurs communicate in interesting ways. They have scent glands on the wrists and chests and use these to mark their branches and other landscape features along their foraging routes. Males will also pull their tails across the scent glands on their wrists and will wave their scented tails at rivals. They also communicate vocally and visually. Their faces are very expressive and each expression means something different, and not always pleasant.

When Ring-tailed lemurs communicate vocally, they purr, meow, grunt, howl and scream. Many of their calls are extremely loud. When the lemurs are inside and provoked by visitors, it can be overwhelming for nearby animals and staff who office near their enclosure. Please do not incite them to scream.