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Duke Lemur Center, Durham

4.5
The Duke Lemur Center (DLC, formerly the Duke University Primate Center) was originally established as an opportunistic collaboration between two biologists, one who was studying maternal behavior in mammals at Duke University and the other who was at Yale, studying biochemical genetics in lemurs. Together, the two investigators conceived the idea of establishing a primate facility in Duke Forest that would combine their research perspectives in order to explore the genetic foundations of primate behavior. The National Science Foundation rewarded their initiative by providing the funds to build a living laboratory where lemurs and their close relatives could be studied intensively and non-invasively. In 1966, the nascent DLC was founded on 80 wooded acres, two miles from the main Duke campus. The DLC assembled the largest living collection of endangered primates in the world, both in numbers of species and in number of individuals. Over its history, the DLC has housed, cared for, and made available for study nearly 4000 animals across 31species of non-human primates including lemurs, lorises and at one point, tarsiers (together, colloquially referred to as prosimian primates). Today, it houses nearly 250 individuals across 21 species. The scientific endeavors at the DLC span a remarkable array of disciplines, from behavior and genomics to physiology and paleontology. Conservation biology is also a major focus and provides the conceptual and operational bridge between the living collections of the DLC and its outreach activities in Madagascar.
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Duke Lemur Center Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
281 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Yes, you must reserve. I visited this place two or three years ago with ~100 college students. The welcome is very friendly and informative. You get a video. If the outdoor temperature is under 46 deg...  more »
  • We had such a great time. Book a reservation in advance, and bring your camera. And please do NOT take pictures in the dark building - as the Center has posted on the door, it hurts the Lemurs eyes. W...  more »
  • This is a must do family activity in when visiting the Durham area. They do a great job of education and the lemurs are amazing!  more »
Google
  • I visited several years ago during World Lemur Day. It was enjoyable and informative. The staff were accessible and eager to share their knowledge.
  • We just finished the Lemurs Live Twilight Tour and found it very enjoyable! This is the guided tour showcasing numerous types lemurs in enclosures. Our guides were extremely knowledgeable and entertaining making the tour interesting for the wide range of ages of guests in our group. The enclosures were very well kept and you could tell that the staff at the Lemur Center truly loved the lemurs. I would definitely recommend this as a great family outing.
  • Took the Little Lemurs tour and was very disappointed. I went with a friend and took my 3yr old and 4yr old on the Little Lemurs tour. For about 20min or so of the 45 min tour, we sat inside the gift shop and watched a little video on lemurs. We then went outside and briefly looked at all the enclosures. My kids didn't care much about it, esp since it wasn't the easiest viewing for them looking at the lemurs from a distance in a cage. When one adult on the tour asked the guide a question, the adult was rebuked and told only toddlers can ask questions. I couldn't believe it how rude the guide was. I would not pay to go back here.
  • You feel less like you're visiting a zoo (though the gift shop does its best to fool you) and more like you're getting a behind-the-scenes tour of an excellent conservation facility -- which you are. Wonderful staff, adorable animals, small tours. Book early!
  • My family and I certainly enjoyed seeing up close and learning about these cute, unique animals that only live in Madagascar besides this special facility at Duke. Great efforts have been made to create a natural environment for them. Staff members are very knowledgeable and friendly. Great family outing to reserve. !

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