Jovian, the lemur from the PBS show Zoboomafoo, has died from kidney failure at the age of 20. Jovian was so beloved by his owners and handlers that he even received an obituary following news of his death at his home in the Duke Lemur Center.
For children and their parents, Jovian became an instant celebrity after being portrayed as the character Zoboomafoo on the PBS show of the same name. While the character was sometimes played by a puppet, producers would at times incorporate Jovian into the scene because they wanted a real lemur bouncing about on the set.
According to Martin Kratt, a volunteer at the Duke Lemur Center who also starred in the show, Jovian was a joy to have around and would frequently jump through the window where his handlers would feed him mangoes and garbanzo beans.
The death of the Zoboomafoo lemur brought sadness but also fond memories from young adults who enjoyed the show as children during its two-year run from 1999 to 2001. A total of 65 episodes were aired, and it became a popular show for preschoolers. PBS still runs the show in syndication from time to time, and some full episodes have also been made available on YouTube, so even children of this generation can enjoy and appreciate such a simple yet memorable show.
The Zoboomafoo lemur died after being ill in recent weeks and had been exhibiting signs of kidney complications. He was born in 1994 and leaves behind an older sibling, Julian, who remains alive and well at age 22. He is also survived by his mate Pia, and three offspring, ages six, two, and 10-months. Jovian also has three additional offspring from a previous mate that are cared for at a separate facility in the center as well as another that currently resides at the Cincinnati Zoo.[Photo Credit: Tambako The Jaguar]