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Recently the director and assistant director of the Havasi Widerness Foundation (HWF) attended the premier of “Island of Lemurs-Madagascar 3D” that was held at the California Science Center’s IMAX Theater. HWF partners with the California Science Center (CSC) to help inner city students enjoy what the CSC has to offer. This true story is about lemurs and the only place on earth where they live in remote Madagascar. Lemurs arrived millions of years ago as castaways to the island of Madagascar. It is thought they must have floated from Africa on branches of trees. Over centuries, hundreds of diverse species of lemurs evolved and are now highly endangered due to erection of buildings and taking land to produce food for growing populations. Dr. Patricia Wright is the scientist who has been on a lifelong mission to help these strange and adorable creatures survive in the modern world. She discovered the Golden Bamboo lemur that was previously unknown to science. The mouse lemur is the smallest primate in the world but it still has the same genetic foundation of all primates, including humans. Mouse lemurs in captivity are one of the few animals that have been documented getting Alzheimer’s disease. The most recognizable of all lemurs is the ring-tailed lemur because it is seen in zoos around the world. In the wild, they travel in groups of about 20 and the females are dominant. Another very enjoyable sequence of the film is seeing the dancing Sifakas who leap great distances because they are built for jumping, not walking. When they travel on the ground, they skip and dance from side to side in “a charming lateral ballet.” One part of the film shows an Indri who gives birth and this species is the largest of the lemurs. They are vocal and have a plaintive wail that echoes through the forest and whole groups join in unison to sing to each other from great distances. Madagascar’s top international recording artist, Hanitrarivo (Hanitra) Rasoanaivo and her band Tarika feature four songs on the film track. Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman narrates the film. Learn about how special the lemurs are and what you can do to save the rainforest and the lemurs by visiting the California Science Center in Los Angeles and seeing this 3D IMAX film. Visit the website: islandoflemurs.imax.com/site.html and click on “video” to see the trailer.


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