An elderly, endangered ring-tailed lemur stolen from the San Francisco zoo earlier this week has been found and returned safely to his home, police said on Thursday.
Maki, a 21-year-old male lemur, was discovered missing on Wednesday morning, shortly before the zoo opened to visitors. Police found evidence of a forced entry to the enclosure.
On Thursday evening, witnesses spotted what they believed to be Maki at a playground in Daly City, a few miles south of the zoo. They alerted the authorities, who quickly responded, San Francisco police said.
“We contained him until staff from the zoo took him back home,” Daly City police tweeted.
The lemur was “positively identified” to be Maki and was in good health, San Francisco police said.
Police are still investigating the burglary – or kidnapping, as it has been called on the Twitter account created for the character Maki the Lemur.
This was not the first time an elderly animal was taken from the San Francisco zoo. In 2011, “Banana Sam” – a 17-year-old squirrel monkey, was taken from his cage before being found “hungry, trembling and thirsty” in a nearby park a few days later. As with most mishaps and misadventures in San Francisco, someone made him his own Twitter account and took to tweeting his time away from the zoo.
Banana Sam died two years later.
In 2000, two teenagers were arrested for stealing two koalas – seven-year-old Leanne and her mother, Pat, 15 – from the zoo. The two koalas, described as “the cutest things you have ever seen”, were found safely playing at the teenagers’ home.