Do Lemurs Make Good Pets
Exotic animals have been an intrigue to people for thousands of years. Less than 30 years ago people were able to go to pet stores around the country and purchase monkeys for just a few dollars. Laws have change since then and most states have a ban on owning exotic species. Some states require a permit and a number of hours spent on hands with animals prior to purchasing. Some states have no requirements.
The following post was written by someone with years of experience to give you an honest insight on lemurs as pets.
Most of us with exotic animal experience know that ringtail lemurs do not make good pets. Then why do so many people have them if they don’t make good pets and the answer is simple. We didn’t know or we didn’t listen when advice was given. Some of us thought ours would be different because we would spent all our time with them and socialize them with as many people possible so they will love everyone forever. The sad truth is you have no control over instinct. When your loving lemur turns two everything changes. This is the part that many people do not believe will happen to their “pet.” The levels of change are unique to each lemur but there will be a change. Females begin to feel it’s time to climb the alpha ladder and males feel its time to protect their territory. Because a human raises them, they assume you are part of their troop and your home is their territory. They will begin to attack anyone they feel is not a part of the troop and this means anyone. It usually starts with friends coming over then in many cases escalates to your own family. Keep in mind lemurs live up to 30 years and at this point you are only in it for 2. Now it’s time to protect everyone from your lemur and protect your lemur from everyone. This is the part that most people don’t want to do. The fun is over and now the work begins. Building safe enclosures so no one can stick a finger in and get bit. Making sure no one comes into your house without them being locked up. No more vacations because no one else can care for them or they will get bit. Keep in mind the bites are rarely minor. Lemurs have canines sharper than a filet knife and can slice you open faster than a ninja on speed. The bites are deep and usually need stitches, however if you go to the hospital for stitches and tell them your lemur bit you, they have to contact the police and animal control to report it and at this point nothing you say can prevent animal control from confiscate your lemur, killing it and testing it for rabies. Even though your lemur has a rabies vaccination it is not recognized as a sure thing and they don’t know if it actually works in primates. It’s devastating.
Some of us have decided to completely change our lifestyle and make it work. Some of us have life changing events happen and need to rehome them. Some people simple don’t want the responsibility. Rehoming a lemur is not an easy process. They’re are not enough rescues/sanctuary to accommodate all the lemurs that people don’t want anymore. Selling or giving them to someone with no experience just to get rid of them is by far the worst thing you can do to a lemur. The best thing you can do is really listen to what I have said and decide if you have the next 30 years to give this beautiful animal the life it deserves. Lots of sunshine outdoors, room to run and jump and climb. Healthy food a vet with lemur experience you can trust. If your willing to do all that then your ready. Just keep in mind they are not a baby, and even though there may be a handful of human raised lemurs that love everyone, the odds that yours will be different is slim to none.