Jovian (lemur)

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SpeciesCoquerel's sifaka (Propithecus coquereli)
BornJovian Marcus Kendall
(1994-04-05)April 5, 1994
Duke Lemur Center, Durham, North Carolina, U.S.
DiedNovember 10, 2014(2014-11-10) (aged 20)
Duke Lemur Center, Durham, North Carolina, U.S.
Nation fromAmerican
Notable roleZoboomafoo in Zoboomafoo
Years active1999–2001

Jovian (April 5, 1994 – November 10, 2014) was a Coquerel's sifaka, best known for mainly portraying Zoboomafoo in the series of the same name.[1][2][3] Jovian sometimes shared the title role with his father.[4]


Jovian was born on April 5, 1994, at the Duke Lemur Center in Durham, North Carolina, to Nigel and Flavia, Coquerel's sifaka lemurs.

When Martin Kratt and his younger brother Chris wanted a lemur co-host for their TV show Zoboomafoo, Martin returned to the Duke Lemur Center, where he had previously volunteered while a student at Duke University.[5] In 1997, the Kratts prepared for the show by filming Jovian and his parents jumping around an outdoor cage modelled on the stage set.[6] Jovian appeared on the program from January 1999 to November 2001. Jovian would appear mostly in the opening segments, before transforming into a talking lemur puppet after eating his meals.[7]

Zoboomafoo's voice was provided by veteran Canadian puppeteer Gord Robertson.

After appearing on the show, Jovian was credited with attracting 15,000 visitors to the Duke Lemur Center each year.[8] As part of the center's breeding program, Jovian was married to a lemur named Pia. One of their offspring, Charlemagne, was taken to a different habitat after Jovian rejected him from the family group.[4] Jovian became ill in the late winter of 2013. He lost a large amount of weight in June 2014 and would only eat in his cage. Pia became pregnant shortly before his death.[9]

On November 10, 2014, Jovian died at the Duke Lemur Center at the age of 20. News of his death spread quickly worldwide, with an outpouring of grief from the public and media industry.[1][10][11][12] The first relative of Jovian to be born after his death was his granddaughter Isabella, born on January 25, 2015.[7] His granddaughter Marie was born in February 2019, the first child of Jovian's youngest daughter, Gertrude, and her mate, Remus.[13]


  1. ^ a b c "Jovian, the PBS star lemur who played 'Zoboomafoo,' dies". United Press International. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
  2. ^ "Zoboomafoo Lemur Jovian Dead at 20; Co-Star Remembers Him as 'Gentle'". Yahoo!. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
  3. ^ "Lemur star of Zoboomafoo remembered as playful and caring". The Chronicle. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Prosimian Personalities — Jovian". Duke Lemur Center. September 25, 2011. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
  5. ^ "Lemur famous from PBS show 'Zoboomafoo' dies". KFOR. November 12, 2014. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
  6. ^ Glum, Julia (November 12, 2014). "Jovian, Lemur Star of Kratt Brothers' Wildlife TV Show 'Zoboomafoo', Dead At 20". International Business Times. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
  7. ^ a b Smith, Christopher (March 2, 2015). "Zoboomafoo's granddaughter born at Duke". Duke University. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
  8. ^ Jacobson, Louis (March 30, 2004). "Looking for lemurs". USA Today. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
  9. ^ "Jovian, the lemur from PBS' Zoboomafoo, dead at 20". CBC News. November 12, 2014. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
  10. ^ "'Zoboomafoo' star Jovian the lemur has died". Retrieved November 14, 2014.
  11. ^ "Lemur famous from PBS show 'Zoboomafoo' dead at 20". WTIC-TV. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
  12. ^ "Internet mourns loss of celebrity lemur Zoboomafoo". USA Today. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
  13. ^ "Welcome Marie, the Duke Lemur Center's First Infant of the Season!". Duke Lemur Center. Duke University. April 11, 2019. Retrieved April 12, 2019.

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