Across Madagascar, the indri is considered sacred and revered by many local people. As a result, it is taboo to prey on the animal.
Most folks believe in the close link to indri indri or Babakoto. The indri indri used to be a human being who lost his son when he was hunting for games in the forests.
Therefore, the haunting cry of the indri indri is simply a father’s mourning cry for his long lost son named Ikoto. While waiting for his son next to a sacred tree, the father was transformed into an animal, which was the first indri indri. This is the reason why the indri indri is known as Babakoto or Ikoto’s father in Madagascar.
The indri indri is one of the largest living lemurs in Madagascar. It measures approximately between 64 and 72 cm and weighs between 6 and 10 kilos. This monogamous lemur lives in a family of about 5 or 6 members. It has a black and white coat and feeds mainly on forest leaves, flowers and wild fruits. Its black face is illuminated by its greenish eyes and big round ears. It is also characterized by its rudimentary tail. The indri indri leaps from branches to branches to find food. They communicate with one another through songs and loud cries.
Another amazing characteristic of the indri indri is its behavior in sun-worshiping. At sunrise, the indri indri crosses its legs, with its eyes closed while facing the sun, and resting its arms on its legs, as meditating. Some folks still believe that the indri indri prays to the sun for its long lost son, that he may see him again one day.