Imagine what it would be like if humans’ main method of transportation was leaping instead of walking. This is how the sifakas of Madagascar move both on the ground and in the trees, even across distances of over 20 feet! The Malagasy name sifaka comes from a characteristic call the animals make when communicating: “shee-faak”. Coquerel’s sifakas live in tropical dry forests of northwestern Madagascar, and are covered in dense white and maroon fur, except for their bare black ears and faces, and a big white nose. They eat a significant amount of leaves, which are provided in bulk by the Lemur Center in the colder months. The 60 sifakas managed by the DLC constitute the most successful breeding colony in the world, with 28 individuals living on site and the remainder in zoos across the USA. Such a success story is very important as this species is classified as Endangered by the IUCN due to habitat destruction.
I hope you enjoy the pictures and videos I’ve posted below. It truly was an amazing experience being with these animals in a free-range environment. If you ever have the opportunity to plan a trip to the DLC (or Madagascar haha), DEFINITELY sign up for a walk-through tour. It is completely worth it to see these lemurs roaming free through the forest.