Here on LCF’s reserve in Myakka City, Florida, our lemurs receive fresh browse three times per week if not more. Browse is plant material designated for consumption or enrichment which can be cut and then given to collections of animals. It can consist of tender shoots, twigs, branches, and leaves of trees or shrubs which can be used by animals as a source of food.
Browse is necessary for an animal’s primary diet, or as a nutritional supplement. And, as something with which an animal can engage, browse is a form of enrichment. We have approved browse that we give our lemurs. It is all grown on-site and consists of hibiscus, pine, wax myrtle, grapevine, and banana leaves. In addition, our free ranging lemurs can be seen eating numerous native plants in their forest habitats.
A New Year’s resolution for LCF is to increase our on-site sustainability by growing food for our lemur colony. In Florida, growing season starts in February. We’ve gathered a variety of supplies, including seed trays, garden gloves, and two trowels. In our January e-newsletter, we invited subscribers to help us start our vegetable and herb garden by donating items from our Amazon ‘Sustainability’ Wish List.
With enormous gratitude to everyone who graciously sent us items, we have an abundance of seeds that we are excited to start growing.
But, we have a problem: we’re now short on space! We have one raised bed, as well as a fantastic garden area. However, the raised bed needs soil and the garden needs a fence to keep out the wild rabbits at the reserve. We would also love the opportunity to increase our space even more with fabric planters.