Baby Lemur Gets a Leg of Steel After Successful Surgery

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A baby ring-tailed lemur, an endangered species, underwent surgery at Michigan Veterinary Specialists and is now on it’s way to leading a normal life at a rescue sanctuary.

Baby Lemur Arrives For Surgery

“I was excited to be personally involved in helping an endangered species – that doesn’t happen everyday – and I’m pleased with how the surgery went," said Dr. Jennifer Covey.

Peanut, a baby ring-tailed lemur, underwent surgery at Michigan Veterinary Specialists where her fractured femur was fixed with a steel plate and screws. After two hours in the operating room, Peanut was on her way back to leading a normal lemur life at the Summer Wind Farms Sanctuary.

Just 10 months old, Peanut snagged her leg on a branch while bouncing around. Without the use of her leg, this endangered species that spends 70 percent of its life using its hands and feet to move nimbly through the trees, would have been severely affected.

Dr. Jennifer Covey, a board-certified veterinary surgeon, said about the operation on the baby ring-tailed lemur, “I was excited to be personally involved in helping an endangered species – that doesn’t happen everyday – and I’m pleased with how the surgery went.”

This was the first time that Peanut was ever separated from her mother but she was quickly returned home the same day after waking from anesthesia. Peanut’s leg will take approximately eight weeks to fully heal.

The doctors at Michigan Veterinary Specialists regularly provide pro-bono services to the Detroit Zoo and other local rehabilitation centers and sanctuaries.

Ring-tailed Lemurs
Ring-tailed lemurs have recently been made popular by Animal Planet’s show Lemur Kingdom and the children’s movie Madagascar but are actually native to a only a small part of the Earth. According to National Geographic, they are found only on the African island of Madagascar and a few tiny, neighboring islands. These beautifully distinctive creatures are closely protected endangered animals that are rapidly losing the forests they call home.

Michigan Veterinary Specialists
Founded in 1990, Michigan Veterinary Specialists is the specialty and emergency medical center of choice for tens of thousands of pet owners and their primary care veterinarians. Similar to human medicine, they work in partnership with a pet’s primary care veterinarian—through a referral system—to manage the pet’s health. A primary care veterinarian may recommend a specialist if the pet is presenting symptoms or conditions that require specialized diagnostic evaluation or treatment in areas such as Ophthalmology, Cardiology, Neurology, Dermatology, Radiology, Internal Medicine, Surgery, Oncology and Emergency/Critical Care. Michigan Veterinary Specialists has three hospitals in Michigan—Southfield, Auburn Hills and Grand Rapids. For more information, visit

Summer Wind Farms Sanctuary
Summer Wind Farms is a 140+ acre facility which houses over 200 exotic animals including bears, tigers and monkeys. These animals have been brought to the sanctuary to have a safe refuge in which to spend the rest of their lives after having zoo or movie careers, or having been illegally owned as pets. The sanctuary is a non-profit organization that is USDA licensed and operates entirely on donations. For more information, visit

Editor’s Note: Interviews with Dr. Jennifer Covey and a Sanctuary representative are available upon request. Photos and video footage are also available.


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Kristi Valentini
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