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Lemur famous from PBS show ‘Zoboomafoo’ dead at 20

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(Photo courtesy Duke Lemur Center)

DURHAM, N.C. — Jovian, the lemur famous from the PBS Kids show, Zoboomafoo, passed away Monday, the Duke Lemur Center confirmed.

The beloved animal taught children lessons about the animal kingdom with human show hosts Chris Kratt and Martin Kratt on the program that aired from 1999 to 2001.

Jovian was living at the Duke Lemur Center in Durham, N.C., when he passed away from kidney failure at the age of 20, the center said.

Zoboomafoo_logoThe center published a lengthy obituary Tuesday, along with some comments from viewers who miss the Coquerel’s sifaka, the scientific name for the animal.

Many Fox CT viewers have commented on our Facebook page about their sadness from the loss of Jovian. You can add your comments on the post at the bottom of this page.

“He was great to work with,” said Martin Kratt, a Duke graduate who had volunteered at the Lemur Center as a student. “He’d jump in through the window and we’d feed him mangoes or garbanzo beans. Sometimes he’d grab our noses with those soft sifaka hands.”


(Photo courtesy Duke Lemur Center)

Jovian leaves behind seven children, four grandchildren, and two more grandchildren on the way, the center says.

“Watching our young interns get excited over being in the presence of the real Zoboomafoo this summer made me realize just how lucky those of us at the Lemur Center were who had the opportunity to get to know the real Jovian in his prime,” said David Haring, the center’s registrar and photographer. “He was a playful, gentle, intelligent animal and perhaps one of the best sifaka sires ever.”

If you are unfamiliar with the show, you can watch the title sequence below.

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  • Gabrielle Lea Rimok

    Omg this was legit my childhood.. You will be missed Jovian! You gave thousands of kids interests in animals and learning about the wild. Thank you!
    Now I’m going into wildlife biology so that I can help preserve species like yours!

  • Susana

    Yo solía ver este programa junto con mi hija cuando ella era pequeña. Enseñaba a los niños sobre la vida animal de una manera muy divertida.

  • lizzie

    oh my gosh, I adored this show as a kid! My little sister loves it to. Unfortunately, I found out almost two years ago when i brought up the show and someone said, “oh, the lemor in that show died.” that was not how i wanted to find out…

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