Long-lived lemur dies at the National Zoo

Lemur looks directly into camera

This red-fronted lemur named Red Oak died August 9 at the National Zoo. (Photo by Alexandra Reddy)

A long-lived lemur, who was named Red Oak and was said to have a big personality for a small animal, died Wednesday at the National Zoo.

The zoo said the red-fronted lemur went into cardiac arrest during a physical exam that was performed after he was found unresponsive during routine wellness checks.

Attempts to resuscitate him failed, and it was decided to euthanize him, zoo officials said. At 24, he was old for his species, they said.

Hunting and loss of habitat has made the red-fronted lemur a vulnerable animal, according to the zoo. It lives in the wild in deciduous woodland on the island of Madagascar. Fewer than 15 of them remain in zoos in North America, the Smithsonian said.

In a statement, the zoo quoted an assistant curator of primates, who called him an animal who made his presence known to the other two species of lemurs exhibited with him and his mate.

“There was never a question that Red Oak was in charge of the group,” said the curator, Becky Malinsky, who called his personality both “endearing and charismatic.”

This story by Martin Weill was originally published by The Washington Post August 12, 2017.

Posted: 17 August 2017
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