(BIVN) – A group of lemurs from the closed Puerto Rico Zoo are now settling in “and doing wonderfully” in their new habitats at the Three Ring Ranch Exotic Animal Sanctuary in Kona.
Three Ring Ranch is Hawaii’s only USDA licensed and fully accredited exotic animal sanctuary. The ranch has state and federal wildlife permits for possession of raptors and endangered species.
A press release from Three Ring Ranch details how the lemurs came to live in their new home in Hawaii:
Last week, the Three Ring Ranch Exotic Animal Sanctuary participated in one of the largest zoo rescues in history. After the Department of Justice closed the Puerto Rico Zoo, more than 550 exotic animals needed new homes. Pat Craig of The Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS) took it upon himself to find lifetime placements for as many of these animals as possible in accredited sanctuaries or other American Zoological Association (AZA) member zoos.
Coincidentally, Three Ring Ranch already had a permit from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HIDOA) to import 11 ring-tailed lemurs as companion animals for a resident lemur already at the sanctuary. When we found out about the situation and that there were ring-tailed lemurs in Puerto Rico that needed placement, we opened our doors. The wonderful Dr. Rebecca Richards, DVM and Jeanette Tonnes (zoo vet tech extraordinaire) flew to Puerto Rico to help Dr. Mikaela Vetters, DVM prepare not only the lemurs we were going to capture, but also care for all other primates. They required examinations and tests, and even surgery, before they could be placed in facilities in the continental US. On May 29, 2023, a FedEx plane flew over 200 animals to Dallas, TX. Most then went by truck to their mainland homes, but our Hawaii-bound lemurs spent the night at TWAS before being loaded onto an American Airlines flight to Honolulu on May 30. They landed at 3pm and cleared HIDOA with the help of Lenny and HNL Pet Transport who helped them get to their Kamaka Air Freight flight to Kona. This was probably the strangest cargo they had ever transported.
The lemurs arrived in Kona at 6:30 pm and were transported to Three Ring Ranch, where they spent one last night in their cages due to the late hour. Bright and early on May 31, they were released into their new enclosures. Although the animals have a variety of health problems due to prolonged lack of care and improper diet, they are very active with voracious appetites and love to climb, jump, and explore. They are settling in and doing wonderfully in their new habitats at Three Ring Ranch. We hope to take care of them for many more years.