Behind the scenes: Surgeons help St. Louis Zoo lemur with broken arm

ST. LOUIS, MO — A lemur with a broken arm. It's a big problem for a little monkey who lives in trees. Go behind the scenes at the St. Louis Zoo Hospital where an injured lemur needs her cast removed.

It's not something you see every day at the St. Louis Zoo. A lemur wearing a bright blue cast. The Friday before Memorial Day Alika fell somehow and broke her arm. She is 17-and-a-half years old, about 55 in people years, and now she is on the mend.

Vet Chris Hanley says Alika is an experienced pro at getting her treatments. She has Been in a cast for 18 weeks with a bad break above her right elbow.

"First day, see the fracture. This is six weeks later. See it's stabilized," said St. Louis Zoo Veterinarian Chris Hanley.

Alika is fortunate she's not in the wild.

The St. Louis Zoo Team Reached out to veterinary specialty services for the emergency surgery to put the pins into Alika's broken arm. The vet doctor says the surgeons there are the orthopedic experts.

Fun facts about lemurs:

  • There are more than 20 lemurs at the St. Louis Zoo, including: Black and white ruffed lemurs (Alika featured in this story is a black and white ruffed lemur.) Black lemurs, Coquerel’s sifaka, Mongoose lemurs, and Ring-tailed lemurs.
  • If King Julien from the movie Madagascar were real he wouldn’t be in charge in the lemur world, females rule.
  • Some lemurs are big talkers, especially ruffed lemurs who have very loud alarm calls.
  • Male ring-tailed lemurs get into ‘stink fights’ where they use scent glands to ‘smell up’ their tails, which they then wave and shake at their opponents.
  • Lemurs and other primates have well developed brains and can learn to use tools.
  • Lemur is latin for ‘ghost.’
  • Lemurs love to bask in the sunshine.
  • Lemurs live on the African island of Madagascar.
  • All lemurs are endangered.
  • The Saint Louis Zoo’s WildCare Institute is working to save endangered lemurs and other wildlife in Madagascar.

Images: