Jovian, the Coquerel’s sifaka lemur that starred in PBS’ Zoboomafoo, has died. He was 20.
Zoboomafoo filmed from 1999 to 2001, though it ran on the network in syndication until 2004. Brothers Martin and Chris Kratt hosted the show, where they’d often introduce kids to various wild creatures in their “Animal Junction.” Jovian was a frequent guest, where he’d stare blankly at kids, bounce, and eat mangoes or garbanzo beans. (Other times, like when Jovian’s character Zoboo would talk or dance, he was played by a puppet.) On Facebook, Martin Kratt added that sometimes Jovian would “grab our noses with those soft sifaka hands.”
Jovian spent all of his life at the Duke Lemur Center, where he fathered 12 sifakas with two different partners.
The Duke Lemur Center has posted a lengthy obituary and remembrance of Jovian, and literally thousands of people have liked or shared the center’s Jovian-related posts over the past day or so social media. A number of Twitter users are also mourning the lemur’s death using the hashtag #Zoboomafoo.