MEET THIS LOCAL: He’s super chill. He has two sons and two girlfriends. And he’s most proud of his “dad bod.” Meet Luke – an eight year old ring-tailed lemur at Wild Florida.
WHAT HE IS DOING: When he’s not snacking on craisins, Luke can be found sitting in a yoga-like position sunning himself. Lemurs are native only to the island of Madagascar and are considered endangered.
According to his handler, Wild Florida’s Jenny Raycraft, Luke likes to sit back and watch the other lemurs in the exhibit solve their daily puzzle feeders. The other animals will twist and turn the puzzles to unlock snacks while he lounges nearby. Once the puzzles are solved, he’ll help the other lemurs enjoy the fruits of their labor.
FUN FACT: Luke loves to paint. About once a week the Wild Florida staff will provide him with a blank canvas and a set of paints. Luke is also very philanthropic. You can pick up one of his creations in the gift shop and part of the proceeds goes to the Duke Lemur Center.
QUOTABLE: “It’s like having a newborn,” said Raycraft, who says sometimes the animals need around-the-clock care. When Wild Florida’s baby red ruffed lemurs were born, she would take them home and feed them a bottle every two hours.
HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED: You can meet Luke one-on-one at Wild Florida during a “lemur experience.” You, a group of up to three friends, and a handler, will go behind the gates to pet and feed the calm primate. Wild Florida provides animal encounters like these because they believe, “when you are close enough to care, you are close enough to act.”