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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Today's zoo tale

Well gang, I have achieved one of my lifelong ambitions today! A few years ago I did a project with Laura and some others on Madagascar and Lemurs. From that point onward, I have always been obsessed with lemurs. This was long before the movie 'Madagascar' came out and when it did, Helen and I sat through it discussing which species each lemur was - very sad I know, but they are SO cute!

So anyhoo, as part of my lemur fetish, I swore to myself that someday I would work on lemurs so that I could somehow hold one. Well, now I don't need to work on them!

I was walking around the zoo talking to my friend Althea, who works there as curator of the primates and reptiles. We were discussing how much work she had to do, which by the way is ridiculous! I was supposed to go with her to meet the famous Josh ( Anyway, we were walking and chatting and she mentioned offhand that we first had to go and give some medication to a lemur. I, naturally, was thrilled at the prospect of getting that close to a lemur and went along very willingly.

We entered the animal hospital at the zoo and Althea had a long chat with the resident vet while preparing a small dish of mashed fruit and milk formula. She then turned to me and explained that I was going to feed the baby lemur! I was over the moon!

She then went into the cage to collect the baby lemur and to administer the mother's medication. The little one was passed over to me instantly and I went off to feed him! It was so amazing! He was tiny and he was so soft! He also smelled so nice! In the same way that babies smell nice. He just kinda smelt small and cute, if that makes any sense at all.

Apparently his mother has developed some mammary infection, which means her milk secreting glands are not in a good way. As a result, she cannot produce any milk for her little baby and so he has to be fed by us humans. Normally a lemur of his age would not be weaned at all but apparently he prefers to eat fruit than to drink milk formula from a bottle.

So I got to feed the baby lemur. I had to keep putting the food right under his nose because he kept getting distracted by things and forgot that his food was there! It was so cute! However, he was very gittery! The slightest sound or sudden movement made him panic. I felt terrible when I had dipped my finger into his fruit to try and encourage him to lick it up and as I raised my hand to his face he got such a fright that he crapped himself!

He was SO cute and if I could, I would most definitely have one as a pet! I took a photo of him with my phone but alas, I have yet to figure out how to transfer photos from my phone to my laptop. When I do, you'll get to see him.

Random Fact For The Day:

A raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continually from the bottom of the glass to the top

1 comment:

  1. lemur!!!!! wow owowowoowwoooowowoweeeeeee

    i love the critters!