DURHAM, N.C. — A pair of endangered lemurs has been imported to the U.S. from Madagascar for the first time in two decades.

The Duke Lemur Center announced Thursday that it transferred the 5-year-old male and 3-year-old female 9,000 miles from Madagascar to their new home in North Carolina. They were born in a conservation center in Madagascar.

The center says there could be fewer than 1,000 blue-eyed black lemurs in the wild.

The center says it took three years of planning and 60 hours of travel to get them to the U.S. Duke says it’s the first time lemurs have been imported to the U.S. from Madagascar in 24 years because of strict regulations on the primates.

Duke says there are about 30 blue-eyed black lemurs in the U.S. Overall, 238 lemurs of different species live at the center at Duke University.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.