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SSP/TAG: Prosimian TAG                   DATE: 15 Oct 2004

Eulemur SSP               

                        Ruffed lemur SSP

Ringtailed lemur SSP

Pygmy Loris SSP



Randy Junge, DVM – TAG Advisor                          Martha Weber, DVM – Ruffed lemur SSP

St. Louis Zoo                                                     St. Louis Zoo

1 Government Drive                                         1 Government Drive

St. Louis, MO 63110                                       St. Louis, MO 63110                                   

314-781-0900 ext 487                                     314-781-0900 ext 565


Cathy Williams DVM – Eulemur SSP                 Roberta Wallace, DVM – Ringtail SSP

Duke University Primate Center                          Milwaukee County Zoo

3705 Erwin Road                                         10001 W Bluemound Road

Durham, NC 27705                                       Milwaukee, WI 53226

919-489-3364 ext 221                                     414-771-3040                                            


Meg Sutherland-Smith, DVM. Pygmy Loris SSP     Ilse Stalis, DVM, Pathology Advisor

San Diego Zoo                                                   San Diego Zoo

PO Box 120551                                                 PO Box 120551

San Diego, CA92112-0551                           San Diego, CA92112-0551                  


MORBIDITY (Significant illnesses/issues facing this species this year):


No unique causes of morbidity reported recently          


MORTALITY (Causes of death in this year):

Cause of Death                                                 SB #               Sex                 Age


BIRTHS:  Males:                                                 Females:

Number of pairs recommended for breeding:

Number of pairs bred:

Number of births:

            MALES:  mother-reared:                                    hand-reared:

            FEMALES: mother-reared:                                    hand-reared:


ANESTHESTIC PROTCOLS (Please list successful and unsuccessful protocols):

Ketamine + medetomidine or diazepam (ketamine alone may cause seizures)


Medetomidine combined with torbutrol and midazolam  IM works well in L. catta, Varecia, and sifakas and give about 1 hr of reliable immobilization. In Eulemur spp, this combination provides a lighter plane of anesthesia. All three components can be reversed: atipamazole (5X medetomidine dose) for medetomidine, nalooxone (0.02 mg/kg IM) for torbutrol, and flumazenil (0.02 mg/kg IV) for midazolam.


VACCINE RECOMMENDATIONS (Vaccine reactions, new vaccines to be considered):

No vaccines are recommended for routine use in prosimians. Some institutions use rabies vaccine in situations where exposure potential exists. No reactions have been reported. Efficacy has not been demonstrated.

Tetanus toxoid is also used at some institutions.  No reactions have been reported. Efficacy has not been demonstrated.


CONTRACEPTION (Methods used, successes, failures):

MGA implants during breeding season.

Depo-Provera 5 mg/kg IM, repeat as needed during breeding season.

 (q 60 days for Eulemur spp and Varecia and q 40 days for L.catta and Hapalemur) .


Depo-Provera has the advantage of shorter action but may lead to androgenizing effects (coat color change, body mass increase).



Ongoing assessment of incidence and prevalence of iron storage disease (hemosiderosis).


Do not give vitamin supplements containing iron.







Ring-tailed lemurs at Berenty are exhibiting significant seasonal alopecia which may be related to consumption of an introduced tree (Leucaena leucocephala); ongoing investigation by Dr. Graham Crawford, San Francisco Zoo

Prosimian Biomedical Research Project has collected physiological, biomedical, and nutritional information from 230 individuals of 19 species. As sufficient numbers of a species are reached, normal values papers are published. Dr. Randy Junge, St. Louis Zoo, Project Coordinator.



Campbell JL, Williams CV, and Eisemann JH.  Fecal inoculum can be used to determine the rate and extent of in-vitro fermentation of dietary fiber sources across three lemur species that differ in dietary profile: Varecia variegata, Eulemur fulvus, and Hapalemur griseus.  Journal of Nutrition. 2002. 132:3073-3080.

Campbell, JL, Williams CV, Eiseman JH. The use of total dietary fiber across four lemur species, Propithecus verreauxi coquereli, Hapalemur griseus griseus, Varecia variegata, and Eulemur fulvus: does fibber type affect digestive efficiency. American Journal of Primatology. In press, 2004.

Campbell, JL, Williams, CV, and Eiseman JH. Characterizing gastrointestinal transit time using barium impregnated polyethylene spheres (BIPS). American Journal of Primatology. In press, 2004.

Da Silva AJ, Caccio C, Williams CV, Won KY, Nace EK, Whittier C, Pieniazek NJ, and Eberhard ML.  Molecular and morphologic characterization of a Cryptosporidium genotype identified in lemurs.  Veterinary Parasitology  2003.  111(4): 297-307.

Dutton, CJ, Junge, RE, Louis EE.  Biomedical Evaluation of free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs (lemur catta) in Tsimanapetsotsa Reserve, Madagascar. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 34(1):16-24, 2003

Junge RE. Prosimians. In Fowler ME, Miller RE, eds. Zoo and Wild Animal Medicine 5th ed. Saunders, Philadelphia. 2003. Pp334-346.

Muehlenbein MD, Schwartz M, Richard A. Parasitologic analysis of the sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi verreauxi) at Beza Mahafaly, Madagascar. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 34(3):274-277, 2003

Williams CV, Glenn KM, Levine JF, and Horne WA.  Comparison of the efficacy and cardiorespiratory effects of medetomidine-based anesthetic protocols in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).     J. Zoo and Wildlife Med.  2003. 34(2): 163-170.

Williams CV, Steenhouse JL, Bradley JM, Hancock SI, Hegarty BC, and Breitschwerdt EB.  Naturally occurring Ehrlichia chaffeensis infection in two prosimian primate species: ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) and ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata).  Emerging Infectious Diseases.  2002. 8(12): 1497-1500.

Williams CV.  Hand-rearing and supplementing lemurs.  In Hand-Raising Wild and Domestic Mammals.  Gage L, ed.  Iowa State University Press.  2002. Pp:104-113.

Worley MB, Stalis IH. Detection of virus-like particles in the liver of black and white ruffed lemurs with hepatitis. J Wildl Dis 2002:38(2):258-265.


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