Duke Lemur Center

From Wikipedia

Duke Lemur Center
DLC Logo.png
TypeCenter to promote research and understanding of prosimians
Location3705 Lemur Lane
Duke Forest
Duke University
Created1966 [1]
Website lemur.duke.edu
A pygmy slow loris at the Duke Lemur Center

The Duke Lemur Center is an 85-acre (34 ha) sanctuary for rare and endangered strepsirrhine primates, located at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. It is the largest sanctuary for strepsirrhine primates in the world. [1]

The center is open to the public through tours, for which visitors must make an appointment. [2] [3]


In 1966, a prosimian colony of approximately 90 individuals, belonging to John Buettner-Janusch, was relocated from the Center for Prosimian Biology at Yale University to Duke University, creating the Duke Lemur Center (DLC). Through the 1970s, the colony grew to approximately 700 individuals representing 33 species. The current colony ranges between 250 and 300 animals, representing approximately 25 species. [4] Originally called the Duke University Primate Center (DUPC), the center's name was changed in April 2006 after a refocusing of the scientific goals and overall mission. Specimens from its scientific collection may thus be assigned the code DPC. [5] [6]

The mission of the Duke University Lemur Center is to "promote research and understanding of prosimians and their natural habitat as a means of advancing the frontiers of knowledge, to contribute to the educational development of future leaders in international scholarship and conservation and to enhance the human condition by stimulating intellectual growth and sustaining global biodiversity." [1]

According to Duke University, the Lemur Center, the only university-based facility in the world devoted to the study of strepsirrhine primates, "is home to the world's largest colony of endangered primates – including more than 200 lemurs, bush babies and lorises.... More than 85 percent of the center's inhabitants were born on site." [7]

In 1997, the center began a program to reintroduce black-and-white ruffed lemurs into the 5,500-acre (2,200 ha) Betampona Natural Reserve in Madagascar, the first return of any prosimian primates to the island nation. [8]

In 2009 and 2010, the center completed two new buildings for housing lemurs. The first building was completed in 2009 and is a 14,922-square-foot (1,386.3 m2) facility (including exterior animal runs) with 7,056 square feet (655.5 m2) of interior space. It can house up to 60 animals that can be released into the 69-acre (28 ha) Duke Forest if weather permits. The second building was completed in 2010 and is a 20,637-square-foot (1,917.2 m2) facility (including exterior animal runs) with 9,883 square feet (918.2 m2) of interior space. Together, they are able to house 140 lemurs. The buildings are designed with animal housing wings radiating from a central core which houses common resources like laboratories, exam rooms, food prep, bathrooms, and storage spaces. Both buildings are designed for low water and electricity use, and are LEED registered. The total cost of the two-buildings, designed by architects Lord, Aeck & Sargent of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was $10.4 million. [9]


The children's television show Zoboomafoo, produced by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), was filmed at the Duke Lemur Center. [10] In order to film the show, a custom-made animal sound stage was constructed on the Duke University campus. [11] One of the show's hosts Martin Kratt, holds a degree in Zoology from Duke University. [12]

On 10 November 2014, Jovian the Coquerel's sifaka (best known for mainly portraying Zoboomafoo in the series of the same name), died of renal failure in his home at the Duke Lemur Center at the age of 20. [13]


  1. ^ a b c "About the Duke Lemur Center". lemur.duke.edu. Duke University. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
  2. ^ "Directions". lemur.duke.edu. Duke University. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
  3. ^ "Betampona Reserve and the Ruffed Lemur Re-stocking Program". lemur.duke.edu. Duke University. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
  4. ^ Mooney, Ashley (16 April 2014). "History of the Duke Lemur Center". The Chronicle. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  5. ^ Stidham, Thomas A.; Smith, N. Adam (2015). "An ameghinornithid-like bird (Aves, Cariamae, Ameghinornithidae) from the early Oligocene of Egypt". Palaeo Electronica. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  6. ^ "Craniodental Morphology and Systematics of a New Family of Hystricognathous Rodents (Gaudeamuridae) from the Late Eocene and Early Oligocene of Egypt". Morpho Bank. 7 August 2012. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  7. ^ "Duke University at a Glance". Duke University. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  8. ^ "Tours". lemur.duke.edu. Duke University. Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
  9. ^ "Duke Univ., Duke Lemur Center, Durham, N.C." Laboratory Design Newsletter. 15 February 2011. Archived from the original on 23 June 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
  10. ^ "Remembering a star: Jovian, lemur host of Zoboomafoo, passes away | Duke Lemur Center". lemur.duke.edu. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  11. ^ "October 4, 1997: Jovian the Lemur, Star of". WFMY. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  12. ^ "PBS - Zoboomafoo: Family Fun". pbskids.org. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  13. ^ Deutsch, Lindsay. "Internet mourns loss of celebrity lemur Zoboomafoo". USA Today.

External links

DUKE LEMUR CENTER Latitude and Longitude:

35°59′42″N 78°57′37″W / 35.9949°N 78.9604°W / 35.9949; -78.9604