San Francisco zoo officials said a 21-year-old male ring-tailed lemur went missing Wednesday, and police are investigating a possible burglary in the matter.
Police were warned Wednesday morning about an overnight burglary at the zoo. Officers found evidence of forcible entry into the animal enclosure in which the Lamar Family Lamar Forest resides in Lamar and is investigating a possible break.
The lemurs are highly endangered and are only native to Madagascar, zoo officials said. Maki, born at the San Francisco Zoo, is one of her oldest lemurs and needs a special diet. He has already surpassed the average lifespan of 16.7 years, making him the slowest and easiest to catch among the zoo’s 19 lemurs, officials said. Her only child is at the zoo.
“We understand that lemurs are adorable animals, but maki is a very dangerous animal that needs special care. We are asking the public to help her return, ”said Dr. Krishna Kumar, executive vice president of the Zoo of Animal Behavior and Wellbeing. Jason Waters said.
Zoo officials said the video footage was being reviewed, and gave additional questions about Maki to police, who did not respond to requests for more information.
The Lippmann Family Lamar Forest is the largest outdoor lemur habitat in North America, and contains seven species of lemurs. The ring-tailed lamer is the most recognizable species, with its gray fur and black and white striped tail.
It is illegal to keep lemurs as pets in California. Endangered animal theft is a federal crime punishable by up to one year in prison.
This isn’t the first time a lemur has gone missing from a California zoo, and S.F. Zoo officials gave a rich description of the black markets for animals in Florida and Texas. In 2018, Isaac, 32, the oldest ring-tailed lemur in North America, was taken from the Santa Ana Zoo. An intruder used a bolt cutter and freed the monkeys and lemurs, officials said. Isaac was back that day after someone left him in the hotel’s plastic storage container. Aquinas Casber, 19, of Newport Beach (Orange County), was arrested and sentenced in 2019 to 90 days in federal prison.
At the San Francisco Zoo, the banana sun squirrel monkey was stolen in 2011 and has since recovered. In 2000, two cola were stolen and recovered.
Police asked anyone who sees Maki call 911 and provide the location of the animal and a description of that person. Additional information about the incident can also be reported to the police on the 24-hour tip line at 1-415-575-4444 or by text tip on TIP411.