“I started out [having] lemurs because they are a great animal, and I was very interested in conservation in Madagascar,” Kirstie Alley tells PEOPLE

By Gabrielle Olya
Updated January 05, 2016 09:47 PM
Advertisement
  • Kirstie Alley‘s home can get a little wild sometimes – thanks to the 14 ring-tailed lemurs she keeps as pets.
  • “I started out [having] lemurs because they are a great animal, and I was very interested in conservation in Madagascar [where they are from] and saving rainforests and forests,” the Jenny Craig spokeswoman, 64, tells PEOPLE. “It’s actually really easy in Los Angeles, because the climate is almost identical. And then I just fell in love with them.”
  • While each of her lemurs has “sort of distinct personalities,” overall she finds them to be very calm creatures.

“Ring-tailed lemurs are sort of Zen,” she says. “They literally sit around, and they look like they’re sitting in the lotus position almost, and they’re chilled out.”

And although Alley says her pet lemurs are totally safe and love being around people, she doesn’t recommend them as pets.

“Lemurs live a long time – about 30 years – so it’s a huge responsibility,” she explains. “You have a dog, and it lives for 15 years if you’re lucky, but lemurs live for 30 years or more and they eat all organic, and you have to keep them meticulous. I actually have a full-time animal caretaker. It’s just on my payroll!”