Can You Keep a Lemur as a Pet?

Can you have a pet lemur?

Cute monkeys like lemurs in your bedroom - that would be great! You could play with them, give them tasty fruit to eat or let them jump around the garden. They are very intelligent and can solve difficult brain teasers. So, wouldn’t a lemur make a great pet?

Lemur Lemur - Photo: Eric Gevaert/Shutterstock

A Suitable Home

If you’re thinking of getting a wild (especially exotic) pet, you should first think about what the animal’s natural habitat looks like. After all, you want to give it a place where it will feel at home.

Let’s think about the habitat and behavior of the ring-tailed lemur (the kind of lemur you see in the movie Madagascar/Madagascar 2):

  • Habitat
    Lemurs live in trees. They spend most of their time in trees, jumping and climbing from branch to branch. They’re only rarely found on the ground.

  • Pack animals
    Lemurs almost always live in large groups. There are no lone lemurs. A typical group of ring-tailed lemurs is made up of 13 - 15 animals, but sometimes over 30.

  • Large territory
    The territory of a group like this is between 14.8 and 56.8 acre (6 and 23 hectares). As a comparison: 2.47 acre (1 hectare) is 107,630 square feet (10,000 square meter). A 4 - 5 room home is around 1076 square feet (100 square meter).
Lemurs As Pets

What do lemurs like to eat? What toys do they like? How do they get on with other pets? Here you find Lemur - Pet Tips.

Are You Allowed to Keep Lemurs as Pets?

Apart from the requirements of pet ownership, there are even more things to consider. Because: lemurs are protected, endangered wild animals. They can only be kept under certain conditions. In Germany, this is controlled by the Federal Species Protection Act, the Federal Natural Conservation Act and the Ownership Ban.

Keeping Wild Animals - is it Allowed?

If you’ve read up to here, you should already know the answer. Offering wild animals like lemurs a natural habitat at home, feeding them and caring for them in the way they need is hardly possible. Whether it’s legal or not: making cute animals suffer for personal enjoyment isn’t right. How would you feel if someone forced you into a strange country and locked you in a small room?

Suspicious Adverts

Endangered animals are sometimes offered for sale online, in magazines and sometimes even in pet shops. These adverts are not legal! Do not answer them, and if you’re not sure, contact an animal protection agency such as PETA to report the case.