Zoo's Lemur May Have Been Kidnapped

Breach reported at San Francisco Zoo
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2020 11:56 AM CDT
Zoo's Lemur May Have Been Kidnapped
This Dec. 17, 2018, photo shows a missing lemur, named Maki, believed to have been taken from the San Francisco Zoo.   (Marianne V. Hale/San Francisco Zoo via AP)

A lemur has been stolen in an apparent break-in at the San Francisco Zoo, according to police, who are actively searching for 21-year-old Maki. The ring-tailed lemur, who was born at the zoo, was last spotted inside the Lipman Family Lemur Forest—touted as the largest outdoor lemur habitat in North America—on Tuesday evening, but he had vanished by Wednesday morning. "We found evidence of forced entry, meaning there was damage to the enclosure," San Francisco police officer Robert Rueca tells KABC. Dr. Jason Watters, the zoo's executive vice president of animal behavior and wellness, notes Maki "has exceeded median life expectancy of 16.7 years," making him "one of the slowest, and we believe, likely, the easiest to catch" of the zoo's 19 lemurs.

"We understand that lemurs are adorable animals, but Maki is a highly endangered animal that requires special care" and "a specialized diet," adds Watters. Not to mention lemurs are banned as pets in California. Officials and police are pleading with the public for help in finding the lemur so he can be reunited with his carers and offspring. "We need your help in locating 'Maki' the stolen Lemur!," reads a tweet from police. "If spotted please dial 911 and be prepared to provide as much detail as possible." Public tips have proved helpful in the past. That's how authorities were able to capture two koalas stolen from the zoo by two teenagers in December 2000, per ABC News. The San Francisco Chronicle reported the animals were meant as a late Christmas gift for one of the teen's girlfriends. (More San Francisco Zoo stories.)

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