Link: About aye-ayes

The Pacific Standard has a very good story by Jason Bittel about aye-ayes: “The Aye-Aye and the Finger of Death”. The story focuses on the interesting behavior of this Madagascar primate and the risks to its survival in the wild.

Interestingly, traditional funeral rites in some areas may both save forests and contribute to negative sentiment toward aye-ayes. Wherever people are buried or laid to rest in tombs beneath rock overhangs, it’s forbidden to cut trees. Often, these stands are made up of canarium trees, which produce nuts that aye-ayes positively love. This means that some of the only places where people encounter aye-ayes are the equivalent of cemeteries—a coincidence that certainly doesn’t help the animal’s association with death.