Pregnant primates delay Branson's lemur project

AP News
Posted: Apr 22, 2011 1:46 PM
Pregnant primates delay Branson's lemur project

A plan by billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson to import two dozen ring-tailed lemurs to his privately owned Caribbean island has been delayed because some of the primates are pregnant.

British Virgin Islands chief veterinarian Michael Montrose says the female primates cannot travel unless they get the required yellow fever vaccine, which they cannot receive until after they give birth.

He said Thursday that the males cannot be sent first without the females, who are considered the guides of lemur herds.

The government has issued Branson a provisional import permit, but Montrose said the island's veterinary division will not issue final permission until the lemurs have been declared free of diseases including yellow fever and herpes.