SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Daly City police tweeted Thursday night that a ring-tailed lemur believed stolen from the San Francisco Zoo was found in a church playground about 4 miles south of the zoo.
At about 5 p.m. Thursday, a woman called police after seeing what she thought was Maki, a ring-tailed lemur stolen from the San Francisco Zoo early Wednesday morning. Police and animal control officers responded to the Hope Lutheran church playground area just west of I-280 in Daly City, where the animal was successfully captured and positively identified as the stolen lemur.
Police said Maki appeared to be in good health and was returned to the San Francisco Zoo.
We found Maki, the stolen lemur from @sfzoo!! Around 5pm, we got a report he was in the playground area of the Hope Lutheran Church. We contained him until staff from the zoo took him back home. Here is Officer Haas with Maki.
We are grateful Maki is home safely! pic.twitter.com/U5rB2RnIxC
— Daly City Police (@DalyCityPD) October 16, 2020
Earlier on Thursday the zoo had offered a reward in the amount of $2,100 or $100 for every year of the 21-year-old lemur’s life. It is unclear if that reward will be paid or to whom.
San Francisco police confirmed on Wednesday that a crime had occurred and was connected to the lemur’s disappearance.
“We believe that a burglary occurred and that the lemur was stolen during this burglary,” said SFPD spokesperson Officer Robert Rueca. “The enclosure where Maki is housed is a secure space that’s under lock and key and that enclosure was damaged and forced open to get the lemur.”
Rueca said the crime was not caught on camera but there were other lemurs in the secure habitat. Whoever took Maki likely went for the one that was easiest to capture, police believe.
“Part of our investigation is scouring the area for surveillance video,” said Rueca. “We have not been able to capture the actual incident of the lemur being chased after, so I can’t speak to that. But due to the fact that these are pretty agile wild animals that that don’t get captured easily, that it’s possible that the suspect chased after the animal that was easiest to catch.”
Tipsters can contact SFPD’s 24 Hour Tip Line at 415-575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD.
Maki was born at the zoo in 1999 and has an offspring in the enclosure, zoo spokeswoman Nancy Chan said.
The outdoor lemur habitat houses seven different lemur species native to Madagascar. Some are endangered.
By late Thursday, Maki was welcoming visitors on a new Twitter account.
And finally… Please come visit me and all my animal friends at @sfzoo. Except the flamingos. Send them back to Florida.
— MAKI THE LEMUR (@SFZooLemur) October 16, 2020
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