It is not often that our experienced naturalist guides come across a sighting that blows them away. So we were shocked to get this update and incredible image from expedition leader Cassiano Zaparoli, who is currently leading IE's Madagascar tour.

"One of the most amazing moments of my work as a photographer and naturalist: an aye-aye face to face, photographed near the town of Maroantsetra, Madagascar. It was the first time our local guide, a man who has wored in tourism for more than 10 years, has seen an aye-aye in the wild!"

Many natives of Madagascar consider the aye-aye an omen of bad luck. For this reason, in years past they often have been killed on sight. Hunting, coupled with habitat destruction, have made the aye-aye critically endangered; however, they are now legally protected.

Here are a few more things you should know about these rare, noctural animals.

  • An aye-aye's bushy tail is actually larger than its body.
  • Aye-ayes spend their lives in trees and avoid coming to earth.
  • The aye-aye taps on trees with its long middle finger and listens for wood-boring insect larvae. That same middle finger is then used to fish bugs and larvae from under tree bark.