Ring-tailed lemur, Lemur catta

Female (spayed)

Born: 29 Mar 2013

Arrival: 10 Jun 2018

Zazu was born at a pet trade breeder's facility in Tampa, Florida and sold to a Miami, Florida woman when she was just 5 months old. About 2 months later, she started over-grooming the back of her right thigh. A veterinarian told the owner “primates just do that” and no further medical assessment or treatment was provided.


In April 2018, the owner contacted EPF seeking placement for Zazu due to moving to California (a state where pet nonhuman primates are illegal). When she arrived two months later, she was not using her right leg at all while walking, unable to leap, and there was a very large wound on the back of her right thigh. She spent most of her time in a hammock, rarely getting up to move around.


The wound on the back of her right thigh is extensive. There is a remarkable amount of scar tissue that has fused to the point of preventing Zazu from extending her leg past ~90 degrees, explaining why she was not using the leg. Our veterinarian noted that this wound likely developed over more than 4 years given the owner reporting self-injurious behavior starting at 7 months of age.  We do not know if the self-injurious behavior began as the result of an underlying medical condition (i.e. nerve pain) or if it is strictly behavioral. 

Zazu is receiving specialized care to rehabilitate her physically and behaviorally. She is on pain management and anti-inflammatory medications, as well as a supplement for anxiety. Our goal is to first stop the self-injurious behavior and then attempt surgery to try to restore the function of her leg. Now that she is coming out of her shell and has mostly stopped aggravating her wound, we think she may benefit from socialization with one or more of the other lemur residents, carefully selected to support her physical and emotional needs. She is making great strides to recovery, but has a long way to go.


Zazu's 2019 care expenses are 100% covered by her generous anonymous sponsor. 









© 2018 by Endangered Primate Foundation

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