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Author Archive | Lynne Venart

Small villages dot rice field landscapes as you drive south from Antananarivo through the rolling hills of Madagascar's Highlands. Photo by Lynne Venart.

Traveling South to the City of Antsirabe

Like most visitors to Madagascar, I began my travels in the capital of Antananarivo. My time for this trip was limited, so I headed out of Tana the following morning en route to Madagascar’s third largest city: Antsirabe. The Road to Antsirabe Antsirabe is about a 3 1/2 hour drive down the RN 7 from Antananarivo, passing by barren hills, rice fields, picturesque small villages, and roadside towns with local Malagasy out and about — shopping on market day, playing baby foot […]

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Crowned lemur at NaturZoo Rhein

Among Lemurs in European Zoos

We Protect What We Love Here in Germany and other European zoos, you will often be able to get very close to lemurs. Open, walk-through exhibits allow you to watch different lemur species sitting in the sun together, foraging for food in the grass, or climbing around in the trees. In a walk-through enclosure like this, you may also suddenly find one of them sitting next to you! The Animal Park Olderdissen has a motto that explains this approach very well. […]

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Silky Sifaka mother and child. Photo by Jeffrey Gibbs.

A Look at Lemur Conservation Foundation’s Work in Anjanaharibe-Sud Special Reserve

In a recent post, we chatted with Zoological Manager Caitlin Kenney about the Lemur Conservation Foundation’s work in the United States at their lemur reserve in Florida. Today, we talk with Dr. Erik Patel, LCF’s Conservation Program Director, about LCF’s work protecting the Anjanaharibe-Sud Special Reserve (ASSR) in the SAVA region of northeastern Madagascar. We’ll be discussing what makes ASSR unique, why it needs to be protected, and the Lemur Conservation Foundation’s work in this region. About the success of […]

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A sign near the entrance of Apenheul, explaining the many primate species in the park.

A Visit to the Apenheul Primate Park in the Netherlands

In May, I spent a wonderful day at the Apenheul Primate Park, located about an hour by train from Amsterdam in Apeldoorn, Netherlands. Apenheul is a member of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, and opened in 1971 as the first zoo in the world where monkeys roamed free in forested areas and could also interact with visitors. 35 Primate Species and 7 Species of Lemurs At first, Apenheul focused on South American primates (mostly woolly monkeys, spider monkeys, and tamarins), but as more people […]

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A Chat with the National Zoo’s Primate Biologist, Becky Malinsky

Today, we chat with Becky Malinsky, Primate Biologist at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C. about her career as a primate keeper, and what it’s like to work with lemurs and other primates every day at the zoo. Can you tell us about your background and how you got started working at the National Zoo? I received my undergraduate degree in Anthropology from American University, but my passion for primates goes back as far as I can remember. I blame my […]

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Awww... isn't he cute? Photo by Lynne Venart.

A Visit to the Lemur Conservation Foundation’s Lemur Reserve

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the Lemur Conservation Foundation’s lemur reserve in Myakka City, Florida. LCF’s Zoological Manager Caitlin Kenney spoke with me about their work at the reserve and in Madagascar, and introduced me to their seriously adorable—and cheeky—lemurs. In this blog post, I’ll share photos of the reserve and the lemurs it houses, discuss LCF’s history, and explain how this reserve is helping to preserve these endangered primates. In a later blog post, I speak with […]

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Ash Dykes Completes Epic Madagascar Trek after 155 Days

After 155 days and several near death experiences, adventurer Ash Dykes has completed his 1,600 mile walk from the deep south to the far north of Madagascar, summiting Madagascar’s eight highest mountains, and braving extreme weather conditions both in the dry south and the rainy north. In the desert southern city of Fort Dauphin, he met with our members Azafady and Sainte Luce Reserve to learn about their work and the conservation challenges in the south. Then, he continued on to the […]

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The author Lynne Venart on her first trip to Madagascar in 2012. Photo taken by Christine Venart in Ankarafantsika National Park.

Planning Your First Trip to Madagascar

As a tourist, it can be intimidating to plan your first trip to Madagascar. It seems so remote and exotic! Plus, it’s large, with a less-than-stellar road system, and the plane tickets are expensive, so you want to do it right the first time. In this blog post, I’ll share a variety of options for traveling to Madagascar for the first time visitor, with some helpful tips and quotes from the experts. Don’t be intimidated, and don’t fret about “doing it right.” There […]

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