Ring-Tailed Lemurs Threatened
There is no doubt that Lemurs are great looking. They are cute and look cuddly and a lot of people think they will make great pets, and maybe they do. But, as the article below reports, a lot of these beautiful animals are being stolen from their natural homes and their families to be sold as pets. That just cannot be allowed to continue can it?
Private ownership of lemurs is against the law in Madagascar—the only island where the primates are found—but that doesn’t stop people from snatching the animals from the wild and turning them into pets. Earlier this year American researchers estimated that home and business owners had taken 28,000 lemurs in the previous three years.The illegal trade affects at least 30 of the 103 known lemur species, but new research reveals that one of those species—the gorgeous and iconic ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta)—represents a huge portion of the market.For the past several months Kim Reuter at Temple University and Melissa Schaefer at the University of Utah have been collecting photographs from tourists who encountered lemurs in homes, restaurants, resorts and hotels. So far their Pet Lemur survey has amassed sightings of 685 pet lemurs. According to data presented this week at the International Congress for Conservation Biology an astonishing 28 percent of the animals spotted were ring-tailed lemurs.