Lubbock Lemur Day shines spotlight on local conservation efforts
The City of Lubbock celebrated the first Lubbock Lemur Day on Tuesday, dedicated to raising awareness about the challenges facing lemurs and recognizing the efforts of a local nonprofit organization.
At the heart of this cause stands the Ringtail Ranch Lemur Rescue, a wildlife rescue situated just outside of Lubbock that stands as a sanctuary to several rescued lemurs, each with their own unique story of survival.
In addition to these captivating creatures, the facility houses a variety of ambassador animals crucial to its educational programs. These ambassadors include various lemur species, a baby kangaroo, rabbits, a miniature horse and more.
Jeanna Treider, the director and founder of Ringtail Ranch, said Lemurs are the most common species they come across due to their affordability and accessibility compared to other exotic pets.
“We get a lot from Texas,” Treider said. “Texas is the most liberal with exotic animal ownership. But they’ve come from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Montana, Colorado. And they really aren’t supposed to cross state lines, but they end up getting into people’s hands that they shouldn’t.”
Hailing from Las Vegas, Treider's journey took her to Montana, where she rescued bobcats and lynx before relocating to Texas. Unlike those who attempt to smuggle lemurs and other animals from other states, Treider knows how difficult exotic ‘pets’ can be to domesticate.
"Over time, we learned that they don't make great pets because when they hit maturity, they can become quite aggressive," she said, gesturing to a number of scars on her arms.
Treider's background and commitment to animal welfare has shaped the ethos of Ringtail Ranch. She emphasizes the urgent need for lemur conservation, describing them as one of the planet's most endangered species.
"In 20 to 30 years," she warns, "it's estimated that lemurs will no longer inhabit their native Madagascar due to habitat loss. Yet, here in the United States, they are often bought and sold as pets, despite being captive-bred."
As Lubbock Lemur Day drew residents' attention to the work of Ringtail Ranch, it also celebrated the dedication and journey of Jeanna Treider, whose experiences have added depth and empathy to her role in preserving these endangered creatures.
Through education and outreach, her hope is to secure a brighter future for lemurs both locally and around the world.