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Primate Pavilion Lemur
Sponsored by DoubleTree Guest Suites Naples and Guest Services, Inc.

An Intepretive Display and Island Exhibit featuring the Wonders of Madagascar
and the Conservation Efforts of the Madagascar Fauna Group

Host to so many bizarre creatures and plants unlike anywhere else in the world, Madagascar has been called the eighth continent. The island nation is a lost world of spiny forests, a thousand species of orchids, and a group of primates called lemurs found nowhere else on earth. See living lemurs on the Primate Expedition Cruise and the rare fosas in the Zoo.

Beneath this thatch gazebo, this interpretive exhibit features fascinating facts about this island nation where fully eight out of ten plants and animals live exclusively in her rainforests, deserts, rivers, and mountains.

A life-size graphic of one of the recently extinct giant lemurs.

At the exhibit, guests not only learn about the extraordinary creatures now living on the island nation, but also some of her past creatures as well. After watching today's cat-sized lemurs jump through the trees and sunbathe on one of the islands in the Zoo, guests can walk up to a life-size graphic of an extinct lemur -- the size of a gorilla!

And dwarfing any ostrich was Madagascar's elephant bird. Able to put its beak over the rim of a basketball hoop and weighing over half a ton, this flightless giant laid the largest eggs our planet has ever seen even bigger than dinosaur eggs. Guests can touch a life-size replica of this colossal egg cast from a museum's real elephant bird egg. Tragically, massive creatures like this were not lost long ago in the age of dinosaurs but in the past few thousand years some just a few centuries ago.

To prevent more of these extinctions, guests discover what Naples Zoo and other conservation institutions are doing to preserve the wonders of this island nation through their membership in the Madagascar Fauna Group (MFG).

Most importantly, the zoo provides the opportunity for guests to turn a zoo visit into a direct connection with the people and wildlife of Madagascar. This island has one of Earth's highest needs for conservation as so much of its plant and animal life is found nowhere else and up to 90% of her are forests gone -- forests that have already given us life-saving treatments for children's leukemia and other diseases.

Recognizing education is absolutely crucial to conservation, Naples Zoo took donations for a new roof for an MFG education center in eastern Madagascar. Malagasy children come to this education center each week to learn everything from ecology to sustainable rice farming as well as extra lessons in math and French.

This center has already had an enormous impact. Passing rates on the exam to enter secondary school increased an astronomical 1,460% for students attending the Saturday School. Prior to this, only one out of twenty area students moved on past elementary education. Based on this success, an extension was added in 2004 which doubled the space for students and this is the portion needing the roof. In addition to their current support, the zoo took on the fundraising effort to replace the leaky roof as the rainy season begins this November and this in an area that receives twelve feet of rain during the wet season. The new roof was in place in time for fall classes in 2005.

Currently Naples Zoo supports an additional Saturday Class in the village of Sahambala near the Betampona Reserve. Donations can also be mailed anytime to the zoo at: Naples Zoo, Attn: MFG, 1590 Goodlette-Frank Road, Naples FL 34102 and made payable to the Naples Zoo. 100% of monies collected go directly to this project and are tax deductible.

Anyone can also make an online donation to the MFG's overall programs by clicking Other ways to support conservation on Madagascar include purchasing books, music, office supplies, and other items through and their affiliates by clicking on the link on the MFG website. A percentage of each purchase is donated to the MFG. Funds from this program are used to purchase French language textbooks for student use.

A guest looks at a image to try and spot the gecko camouflaged on a tree trunk.

Petrof's Primate Pavilion had its genesis in a 2002 fundraiser called Pianos for Primates, coordinated by the zoo and sponsored by Petrof, the famous European piano manufacturer. The event took place at the home of acclaimed conductor and pianist William Noll and featured Mr. Noll and a variety of special guest performers on his grand pianos. Stunning photographic artwork was also donated by Tiité Baquero. Funds from the event have already supported MFG programs in Madagascar including their flagship project that released endangered ruffed lemurs born in zoos back into the wild. And now, this new educational display at the zoo will further conservation education about this wondrous island and how its living treasures can be preserved.
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Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens     1590 Goodlette-Frank Road     Naples Florida 34102
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