Explore the Wild: Lemurs

Outdoor Exhibit
Opens at 10:00 am
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Located in Explore the Wild, a six-acre woodland habitat and thriving wetland site where you can use the tools of a wildlife biologist, the Museum’s lemur habitat is home to seven ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) and three red ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata rubra). The outdoor habitat includes an interactive climbing structure with tall trees, a climbing structure, and balancing ropes. A guest-operated zoom camera provides close-up views of these highly active, playful animals.

Ring-Tailed Lemurs

Seven ring-tailed lemurs roam the Museum’s interactive, outdoor playground. Best known for their prominent black and white tail, ring-tailed lemurs are social animals and can often be found grooming or eating together. You might notice our lemurs holding their tails high as they explore the exhibit. Those raised tails function as flags that help to identify and keep the lemur troops together.

Red Ruffed Lemurs

Three red ruffed lemurs can be found inside a temperature-controlled enclosure with a large viewing window. Red ruffed lemurs get their name from the thick ruff around their necks. These lemurs are very vocal, using a series of at least twelve different sounds to warn each other of predators, such as snakes, eagles, and humans. In addition to a wide variety of calls, red ruffed lemurs also have acute senses of smell, vision, and hearing.

Lemur Conservation

The lemurs living at the Museum are a part of the Ring-Tailed and Red Ruffed Species Survival Plan (SSP), a collection of zoos and nature centers around the United States committed to the conservation of lemurs. The SSPs make breeding and non-breeding recommendations to ensure genetic diversity and work on projects that involve education, veterinary care, and field research.

Lemur Care at the Museum

The Museum’s lemurs eat a special chow as well as lots of fruit and vegetables, including some you might even find in your own kitchen like bananas, apples, and green beans! Behavioral enrichment enhances the quality of animal care by providing environmental stimuli that encourage animals to express natural behaviors. For our lemurs this could include placing new foods throughout the exhibit to encourage forging or introducing new exhibit features for scent marking or rubbing.

Meet Our Animal Keepers

Learn what it’s like to care for our lemurs at a daily Meet the Keeper program. Program themes and location rotate weekly between black bears, lemurs, and red wolves exhibits. View daily schedule.