(BIVN) – A group of Lemurs from the closed Puerto Rico Zoo are now settling in “and doing wonderfully” in their new habitats at the Three Ring Ranch Exotic Animal Sanctuary in Kona.
Three Ring Ranch is Hawaiʻi’s only fully-accredited, USDA licensed, exotic animal sanctuary. The Ranch holds State and Federal wildlife permits for possession of raptors and endangered species.
A Three Ring Ranch news release details how the lemurs came to live in their new Hawaiʻi home:
This past week, the Three Ring Ranch Exotic Animal Sanctuary participated in one of the largest zoo rescues in history. After The Puerto Rico Zoo was closed by the Department of Justice, over 550 exotic animals needed new homes. Pat Craig of The Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS) was tasked with finding lifetime placement for as many of these animals as possible in accredited sanctuaries or other American Zoological Association (AZA) member zoos.
Coincidentally, the Three Ring Ranch already had a permit with the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HIDOA) to import 11 ring-tailed lemurs as companion animals for a resident lemur already at the sanctuary. When we learned of the situation and that there were ring-tailed lemurs in Puerto Rico needing placement, we opened our doors. The wonderful Dr. Rebecca Richards, DVM and Jeanette Tonnes (zoo vet tech extraordinaire) flew to Puerto Rico to assist Dr Mikaela Vetters, DVM in preparing not only the lemurs we were going to take but caring for all the other primates, as well. They required examination and testing, and even surgery, so they could be placed in facilities on the US mainland. On May 29th, 2023, a FedEx plane flew over 200 animals to Dallas, TX. Most then went via truck to their mainland homes but our Hawaii-bound lemurs overnighted at TWAS before being loaded onto an American Airlines flight to Honolulu on May 30th. They landed at 3 pm and cleared HIDOA with help from Lenny and HNL Pet Transport who helped get them to their Kamaka Air Freight flight to Kona. This was likely the strangest cargo they had ever transported.
The lemurs arrived in Kona at 6:30 pm and were transported to the Three Ring Ranch where they spent one last night in their crates due to the late hour. Bright and early on May 31st, they were released into their new enclosures. Although the animals have a variety of health issues due to prolonged lack of care and improper diet, they very active with voracious appetites, and love to climb, jump and explore. They are settling in and doing wonderfully in their new habitats at the Three Ring Ranch. We look forward to caring for them for many years to come.