February 25, 2014

SPONSORED POST Island of Lemurs

Posted by at 12:55 pm in Movies & TV | Permalink

lemurs130This blog post is sponsored by IMAX Island of Lemurs: Madagascar.

If you love animal documentaries, then you will be excited to see the new IMAX movie about wild lemurs living in Madagascar. It’s called Island of Lemurs: Madagascar (rated G). We got to ask some questions of Dr. Patricia Wright, the primatologist who studies the lemurs in the film. Read on to learn more about lemurs and what it is like to work with them in the wild.

Q: Are lemurs endangered?
Dr. Wright: 94% of lemurs are critically endangered, endangered, or threatened. They are endangered because they only live on Madagascar and over 90% of Madagascar’s forests have been burned.

Dr. Patricia Wright with lemurs in Madagascar

Photo credit: Drew Fellman

Q: What is it like to work with wild and untamed animals?
Dr. Wright: Wonderful! I love to watch wild animals and observe them playing and grooming and sometimes fighting in the wild.

Q: When did you know you wanted to do what you do?
Dr. Wright:
Since I was about five I knew I loved animals. I had lots of pets: dogs, cats, rabbits, fish, turtles, rabbits, and even a white rat. I was a Biology major in college, but I was out of college and working as a social worker when I became interested in monkeys and monkey behavior. When I was 20 years old, I fell in love with a pet monkey, and I wanted to know what this kind of monkey did in the wild. That was a long time ago, and I would NEVER buy a monkey now. But all of you should try to see them in the wild.

Q: Why did you choose to work with lemurs?  
Dr. Wright: I began my studies with monkeys in South America and I loved working with them, but when I went to Madagascar and saw how beautiful and funny lemurs were, and I saw all the different kinds, I fell in love with them. Knowing they are so endangered, I want to work every day to help them to survive.

Q: What was the hardest moment in your whole career?
Dr. Wright: The day the loggers came into the forest where I was studying the new species of lemur, and they started to cut down all the big trees where my lemurs lived. I was afraid that the forest would be gone. The golden bamboo lemur was only found in this forest and if the forest was gone, they would go extinct. It was very discouraging when the powerful loggers began to cut down the forest. But if I quit, the lemurs might be extinct today.

Q: Were you scared to work with untamed animals at first? 
Dr. Wright: No, I wasn’t scared, but they were scared of me and ran away. I had to gain their trust in order for them to let me follow them.

Q: Do the lemurs have opposable thumbs?
Dr. Wright: Yes. Sometimes they hold branches, and sometimes fruits. They can grab things.

Q: What are some lemur instincts that are similar to human instincts?
Dr. Wright: Lemurs have pretty much the same instincts as people. Most lemurs live in family groups or communities and love to play and sit together and snuggle, and climb up in the trees and hang like human kids. Lemurs are sad if someone in their group is lost and are happy when their friend returns. Lemurs get angry if another lemur steals their food.

Q: Can lemurs be tame enough that they act like pets?
Dr. Wright: Sometimes when I am following my lemurs in the wild they are very close to me. But if I get closer than two feet to them, they move away. They don’t let me touch them. But in the wild with other group members, they will play-wrestle and play tag like kittens, sometimes very close to me.

Q: There are always dangers working with animals. What are some you have experienced?
Dr. Wright: 
Walking around the jungle at night has lots of dangers. When I was in South America, the jaguar and the poisonous snakes had to be avoided. Luckily in Madagascar, the fossa, which is a fierce carnivore that eats lemurs, is too small to attack humans.

Q: What is the most AMAZING incident that ever happened to you while you were working?  
Dr. Wright: There are many. Once in the Amazon jungle on a rainy night, I came face-to face with a jaguar. We were both startled. After about five minutes of staring at each other, he jumped away. I was really scared. Once I found a tarantula hiding inside my shirt before I put it on. It didn’t bite me and I shook it off my shirt and let it go its own way. Once early in the morning on a May day, I witnessed the birth of a baby sifaka.

Q: Do you have any tips for kids who want to do what you do?
Dr. Wright: K
ids should begin to study rainforests and all the animals inside them as early as possible. Now, kids can get onto the web and join some online groups to participate in active conservation. It’s never too young to start learning about these wonderful animals and getting involved. You can collect school supplies and raise funds for your favorite project.
As soon as you are in high school you should contact the researchers or Earthwatch Institute and volunteer to help out. Volunteering to help leads to real jobs when you work hard! I love my job of studying lemurs and protecting rain forest, but I had to work hard and it was not easy!

This blog post is sponsored by IMAX Island of Lemurs: Madagascar.

  1. Kate

    Hi Ann,
    You are an amazing author and I was just wondering where you can get the babysitters club books and movies?

  2. winnie005

    i hate when animals go extinct bc of humans. i had to research a bird called the kakapoo once, and they were going extinct bc of humans too. BOO HUMANS!!

  3. Trashonna

    My comment is I think that people should stop chopping down trees in the forest because it’s already to much damage in the forest because in the rain forest it is lots of fires and more lemurs are getting extinct.

  4. Ari

    Thank you Dr.Right for the cool information about lemurs half of that stuff you said about lemurs I didn’t even know I hope you will be able to tell us more about lemurs on day.

  5. Anonymous

    I love lumars but I just wanted to ask what kind of food do the eat and how many lumars are in all

  6. Treyvon

    Do Lamar’s parents be there with there kids so it can be safe for them to be their with the kids?can the Lamar’s survive on their own.

  7. Autumn Brown

    We’ll did one of the lemurs ever bite u or tried but this is a good article to read it helps u learn a lot of things

  8. Lyric

    Lemurs seem like very cool animals. They seem very interesting too. I would love to work with animals.

  9. Renisha

    This article is really good to inspire kids what they will see if they do this when they grow up also the lemurs are so tiny and cute

  10. Taliyah

    I think that this is great that Dr.Wright works with animals and when I grow up I want to work with animals in the wild just like Dr.Wright.

  11. Ariauna

    Thank you for all of your good advice about the lemurs that was some very nice information about lemurs half of that stuff I didn’t even know about lemurs can you tell us more about them.

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