Sharing the Care

My nephew is very excited to share in the care of Aristides, a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta). He calls Aristides his ‘lemur cat.'

My nephew is very excited to share in the care of Aristides, a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta). He calls Aristides ‘my lemur cat.’

What do you get a 5-year old boy who has all the material stuff that he could possibly need (and then some)?

Enter Aristides, (pronounced a-ruhstie-deez or a-rista-deez).

He is my nephew’s ring-tailed lemur.

Well, not exactly.

My older sister and I ‘adopted’ a lemur on behalf of our nephew to give ‘the Christmas gift that keeps on giving’ all year long.

Here’s how it works: The Duke Lemur Center in Durham, North Carolina, offers an ‘Adopt a Lemur’ program (any time of the year!) so that the public can ‘share the care’ of the animals there.

On average, it costs $7,400 per year to house, feed, and provide veterinary treatment, daily care and training for one lemur.[1] A donation toward a single ‘adoption’ (which could be anywhere from $50 to $1000 or more–your choosing) ultimately helps all the animals at the Center.

You may be thinking, “That’s all very nice, but what’s a lemur?”

Great question!

Lemurs are mammals of the primate order. They were created on Day 6 of the Creation Week.[2] Today, they can be found on the island of Madagascar off the coast of Africa.

Many species of lemurs are closely protected and in danger of extinction. One such species is the Lemur catta or ring-tailed lemur.

As part of the 'Share the Care' program, my nephew received a pass to tour the Duke Lemur Center and see Aristides in his free-range home.

As part of the ‘Share the Care’ program, my nephew received a pass to tour the Duke Lemur Center and see Aristides in his free-range home.

Speaking of which, Aristides is a ring-tailed lemur. He was born in 1993 in a natural habitat area in Duke Forest right here in Durham, North Carolina. His mother, Corinna, currently lives at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. His father is “a mysterious, undetermined male” (who apparently was very determined). Aristides’ favorite food is broccoli. He participates in cognitive and behavioral studies at the Lemur Center, and one of his favorite pastimes is strutting.[3]

Lemurs are a beautiful testimony of God’s creative power. Sharing in the care of a lemur is one small way that my nephew can learn what it means to be a good steward of God’s world and its inhabitants.


[1] https://www.gifts.duke.edu/lemur_share

[2] “And God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.’ And it was so.”–Genesis 1:24

[3] From the Fact Sheet provided in the ‘Share the Care’ packet.

Suggested links to learn more about lemurs:
http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/zoo/ring-tailed-lemur
http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v3/n4/leapin-lemurs