What’s up with King Julian?

He’s the lemur found in a Bloomington garage last January
Published: Oct. 24, 2023 at 1:04 AM CDT
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BLOOMINGTON (25News Now) - The rescued ring-tailed lemur named King Julian is getting used to his new surroundings at Miller Park Zoo about 10 months after the federally endangered animal was found in the garage of a Bloomington home.

The zoo is providing an update about Julian ahead of the celebration this Saturday of National Lemur Day.

In a news release, zoo staffers said they have moved him from a quarantined space into another building on school grounds.

There’s more space for Julian to interact with animal care staff, the news release said.

“Julian is healthy, engaging, and continues to build strong relationships with the zookeepers,” staffers said.

Zoo staff is working with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to consider long-term options for Jullian’s future, but no decisions will be made until the investigation is complete.

Staffers said, “Julian’s story is a reminder of why lemurs and other exotic animals are not pets.”

More information about wildlife trafficking and illegal ownership can be found on the Association of Zoos and Aquariums website.

Meantime, Miller Park Zoo’s National Lemur Day celebration is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“This will be a great opportunity for the entire family to learn more about the lemur species,” said Silvia Schuh, the zoo’s events and volunteer coordinator.

She said there will be discussions with zookeepers, crafts and games to learn about lemurs.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN’s) 2020 Red List of Threatened Species shows 98% of all lemur species are threatened, almost a third of all lemur species in Madagascar are critically threatened, which is a step away from extinction.