This little guy (gal?), a Gray Bamboo Lemur, charmed me right away. Banana in hand, looking straight at me, little pink tongue sticking out – you can’t get much more photogenic than this.
Our encounter took place on Lemur Island, near Andasibe-Mantadia National Park on the eastern side of Madagascar. It’s a small preserve, home to a variety of rescued lemurs. It requires a canoe ride to reach it – about a 60 second canoe ride – so that adds to the entertainment value.
Many of the lemurs are habituated to humans and are easily persuaded to come check you out. The Common Brown Lemurs were the most social, while some were a little more reserved (like this guy and the Black and White Ruffed Lemur). This Gray Bamboo Lemur the only one we saw of its species on the whole trip.
You may wonder what he/she is doing in this photo. Seconds before, the guide smeared some more banana on the tree trunk, so the lemur is licking it off.
And here, the guide is offering him a fresh green bamboo shoot, which he spent a few seconds thoughtfully chewing on before deciding we humans weren’t that interesting anymore, and leaped away in small bounds from tree to tree.