SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Officials at the San Francisco Zoo on Wednesday announced that police are assisting them in a search for a rare male ring-tailed lemur that may have been taken from his habitat.

According to the zoo, the lemur named Maki was discovered missing Wednesday morning. San Francisco police are assisting with the recovery of the animal’s return, including investigating a possible break-in at the Lipman Family Lemur Forest habitat.

SF Zoo missing lemur Maki (credit Marianne Hale)

“We understand that lemurs are adorable animals, but Maki is a highly endangered animal that requires special care. We are asking the public for help in his return,” Executive Vice President of Animal Behavior and Wellness Dr. Jason Watters said in a news release. “As one of our oldest lemurs, Maki requires a specialized diet. Of the 19 lemurs here, at 21.5 years, he has exceeded median life expectancy of 16.7 years, but is also one of the slowest, and we believe, likely, the easiest to catch.”

Lemurs are native only to the island of Madagascar just off the coast of Africa, zoo officials said.

The Lipman Family Lemur Forest is the largest outdoor lemur habitat in North America, featuring seven species of lemurs, including black-and-white ruffed lemurs, red ruffed lemurs and blue-eyed black lemurs in addition to ring-tailed lemurs.

Ring-tailed lemurs are the most recognizable of lemur species, with their gray color and distinctive black and white striped tails. Lemurs are banned as pets in the state of California.

Anyone in the public with information on the missing animal is asked to call the SFPD’s 24 Hour Tip Line at 1-415-575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD.