2016: Tanganyika's Lemur Island
A love for ring-tailed lemurs brought actress Kirstie Alley to Tanganyika Wildlife Park, located just 15 miles west of her Wichita hometown.
"Last Friday, Kirstie Alley stopped by to see our lemur island," the Goddard-based wildlife park posted to Facebook. "Her passion for and knowledge about lemurs was inspiring. It was a pleasure showing her the Park and we were humbled by her tweet."
Alley's tweet mentioned that Tanganyika Wildlife Park is her new favorite zoo.
"I have seen zoos around the world...I look for a clean intimate atmosphere that has big friendly gorgeous habitats..you gotta go to @TanganyikaPark if ur ever near Wichita Kansas!!" she posted on Friday. "My new favorite zoo!! PS tons of lemurs on their own Island!!!"
And when a Kansas City woman tweeted to Alley that she goes to Wichita just to visit Tanganyika, the Wichita native who now lives in California responded.
"The animals are treated with such beautiful care," Alley tweeted. "It's a happy place. And super informative. This helps people have interest in animal conservation all over the world .. :)"
Alley's love for lemurs is evident on her social media profiles.
Earlier this month, for National Pet Day, she tweeted four photos of lemurs — one who was holding a bright, yellow flower and another who had a baby lemur on its back.
She posted to Facebook last year that she doesn't trust people who don't like lemurs — or Kansas.
In 2016, Alley told People magazine that she has 14 ring-tailed lemurs 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,” she told People. “It’s actually really easy in Los Angeles, because the climate is almost identical. And then I just fell in love with them.”
In 2017, the Wichita native told the Rachael Ray Show that she once convinced airport security that her baby lemur was a cat — even when she was asked to take the "cat" out of her carrier.
“I had this plan, I had to think of it really fast," she told Ray. "So I take her out and I keep her moving (so they can’t see her clearly), and I’m like, she’s really crazy, she’s so crazy, you don’t want to touch her. … she’ll bite you!”
Alley, the television star known for starring in "Cheers," "Dancing with the Stars" and "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" was born and raised in Wichita and still has two houses on Douglas. She frequently decorates one of her Wichita homes with a wintery village scene saved from the set of her 1993 movie "Look Who's Talking Now." That holiday tradition started in 2007.
Jimmie's Diner owner Linda Davidson said Alley will often come by the restaurant to eat while she's in Wichita — just like she did on this trip.
"She stops in quite frequently," Davidson said. "And her father is a regular customer."
Davidson said she was not there when Alley visited on Monday, but her staff "reported" the movie star's visit to her. She said they try to treat her like a normal person while she's dining there.