Rare Lemur Born In North Carolina

Rare Lemur Born In North Carolina

12:03pm Sep 25, 2017
Agatha, an aye-aye lemur at three months old. Photo Courtesy of the Duke Lemur Center/David Haring
  • Agatha at 3 months old. Credit: Duke Lemur Center/David Haring

  • Agatha at 2 months old. Credit: Duke Lemur Center/David Haring

  • Agatha at 6 days old. Credit: Duke Lemur Center/Sara Clark

The rare primate's name is Agatha, and she’s an aye-aye. There are only 24 of her kind in the U.S.

In her native home of Madagascar, this breed is a local legend, said to be a demon that can kill just by pointing its long, skeletal finger.

In reality, the bushy-tailed nocturnal primate is one of the gentlest lemur species.

Agatha was not much larger than a Snickers bar at birth, and was slow to gain weight. In a video from Duke Lemur Center, veterinarian Cathy Williams says this aye-aye was a unique case.

“It required intervention by the veterinary staff to provide supplemental warmth, keep her in an incubator for several days, to feed her by formula, get her strong enough so she could go back with her mother.”

Agatha is the third aye-aye born in North America in the last two years. The birth is particularly welcome as the Duke Lemur Center tragically lost four adult aye-ayes last year to poisoning from a natural toxin found in avocados.

Over the next few years Agatha will learn how to forage for food, build a nest, and other aye-aye survival skills. Visitors won’t be able to visit baby Agatha yet, but the center does house two other aye-ayes, Endora and Ozma.


Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified the photographer for three images. The credit has been update to show David Haring is the photographer​.

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