lemurs

Inside a Refuge for Endangered Lemurs in North Carolina  

Watch our special series on endangered lemurs with NBC 7 San Diego’s Dagmar Midcap, host of “Down to Earth,” in the video clips below.

The Duke Lemur Center in North Carolina is not just a safe haven for the endangered primates — it may be a key safety net for the entire species. 

Lemurs are the most endangered mammal group on Earth, with roughly 95% of lemur species at risk of extinction, according to the Duke Lemur Center. 

Follow NBC 7 San Diego’s Dagmar Midcap, host of  “Down to Earth,” and LX News storyteller Cody Broadway as they take you inside the Duke Lemur Center in Durham, to meet the lemurs and the devoted team of scientists and researchers fighting to save them. Watch their stories below.

Chapter 1: The Amazing Anatomy of Endangered Lemurs

The Duke Lemur Center is a refuge for some of the world’s most endangered primates. With incredible senses of hearing and smell, and a long bony finger for seeking out food in hollow logs, lemurs have evolved into unique and special creatures. NBC 7 San Diego’s Dagmar Midcap and LX News storyteller Cody Broadway take you inside.

Lemurs are even more fascinating than their popular representations in the movie “Madagascar” or the PBS show “Zoboomafoo” would suggest. With incredible senses of hearing and smell, and a long bony finger for seeking out food in hollow logs, lemurs have evolved into unique and special creatures.

Chapter 2: The Race to Save an Injured Lemur

At the Duke Lemur Center, each one of the endangered lemurs is precious. So when a staff member notices an injured lemur, the whole team mobilizes to protect it. NBC 7 San Diego’s Dagmar Midcap and LX News storyteller Cody Broadway follow the team as they rush to save a lemur, named Cassia by the staff, who has been bitten by a venomous copperhead snake.

At the Duke Lemur Center, each one of the lemurs is precious. So when a staff member notices an injured lemur, the whole team mobilizes to protect it. Dagmar Midcap follows the team as they rush to save a lemur, named Cassia by the staff, who has been bitten by a venomous copperhead snake.

Chapter 3: A Unique Place in the Ecosystem

There are 108 species of lemur — and each has a unique place in the ecosystem. And they are almost all highly endangered. NBC 7 San Diego’s Dagmar Midcap, host of “Down to Earth,” and LX News storyteller Cody Broadway go inside the Duke Lemur Center to find out why their facility provides such a unique opportunity to closely study many different types of lemurs — and why that research is so important.

There are 108 species of lemur — each with its own distinct characteristics that give it an important place in its ecosystem. And they are almost all highly endangered. The team at the Duke Lemur Center explains why their facility provides such a unique opportunity to closely study many different types of lemurs — and why that research is so important.

Chapter 4: Next Stop, Madagascar

A copperhead snake bite posed a potentially lethal threat to one endangered lemur at the Duke Lemur Center in North Carolina. After her health deteriorated, the team determined that a rare and risky medical procedure was the only option to save her. NBC 7 San Diego’s Dagmar Midcap, host of “Down to Earth,” and LX News storyteller Cody Broadway go behind the scenes of the rescue operation.

The work of the Duke Lemur Center may be based in North Carolina, but it starts in the villages of Madagascar. That’s why the team is preparing for a months-long trip to the African island nation. That’s also the next stop for Dagmar Midcap and the “Down to Earth” team, who will join them there as they continue their research and conservation efforts.