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In Which Countries Can People Keep Lemurs as Pets?

There are countries where lemurs are allowed to be kept as pets. Find out what countries they are here. Countless laws regulate the ownership of exotic and/or wild animals. Not every country has the same laws. So, keeping lemurs as pets is allowed in some countries and illegal in others.

Official List of All Countries

There isn’t an official list that sorts all countries by “pet lemurs allowed/not allowed”. And laws, exceptions and additional conditions are extensive and complicated. You can get an impression in the article Lemurs as Pets - Allowed in Germany?

Lemur Lemur - Photo: Natalia Paklina/Shutterstock


Sometimes Allowed in the USA

Keeping lemurs is allowed in certain states of the USA: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri (illegal in St. Louis), Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin (no guarantee).

Lemur Lemur - Illustration: Silke/

And Other Than that?

In all other countries, it is illegal to keep lemurs as pets. In their home, the African island of Madagascar, it is believed that over 28,000 of these fascinating animals are kept illegally. Even though they are on the red list of endangered animals and their status is “critically endangered”.

How Can You Have a Pet Lemur Despite All of this?

The answer is easy, even if you might not like it: you can’t. But what you can do is sponsor an animal at your local zoo. But you still won’t be able to have any direct contact with the animal for animal safety reasons. You can also get involved in protecting the ring-tailed lemur’s habitat. The WWF - the best-known and largest natural and environmental protection organization - has started a project to protect the nature and animals of Madagascar. As 90% of Madagascar’s original forests have already been chopped down, the ring-tailed lemur’s habitat has become much smaller. They are also hunted for their meat.

If You Could Have a Pet Lemur, Would You?

Only hypothetically, of course!



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