Affectionately known as Merced, mongoose lemur Mercedes, is a long-time member of the Lemur Conservation Foundation’s colony. Born on April 18, 1997, he is 23 years old and our third oldest mongoose lemur.
Merced arrived at the reserve from the Duke Lemur Center in June 2008. While partnered with several different females over the years, he has lived with his current partner, Leena, since her arrival in 2014. The pair have welcomed four offspring, and the family lives together at the reserve: Julieta, Javier, Julio, and Lonzo.
Merced is a sweet and quietly insistent lemur. He lets Leena take charge in all things, from enrichment exploration to food access but once she is distracted, Merced is quick to find his fair share.
Art is an important component of our mission, contributing to conservation education by stirring awe and wonder, and with them grief at potential loss. LCF Founder, Penelope Bodry-Sanders, is a conservationist and an artist. In 2015, she created a piece in which Merced was the subject titled Merced Dans Son Jardin (Merced in his Garden).
Merced Dans Son Jardin was part of Bodry-Sander’s “Lemur Mourning Series” inspired by Victorian mourning pieces, which memorialize the deceased with a lock of their hair. Though Merced is alive and well, the artwork speaks to the conservation status for this species. Mongoose lemurs (Eulemur mongoz) are critically endangered, at extremely high risk of extinction in the wild in the immediate future. Merced’s hair, opportunistically saved or collected during routine annual physicals, is artistically included in this meaningful painting.