Today we saw our first black and white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata). They were beautiful and much larger than I expected! Zoo New England’s Senior Veterinarian, Dr. Chris Bonar, and Jeff Wyatt, M.V.D. from University of Rochester performed health exams on the lemurs, and found that the animals were strong and healthy.
These animals are listed by IUCN as Critically Endangered, and are estimated to have declined by 80% in number over the course of just 21 years (iucnredlist.org). Seeing these beautiful animals makes me better appreciate the work that Health in Harmony and the local communities are doing to support forest health, including reforestation efforts and hiring locals to serve as “guardians of the forest”.