An endangered lemur that went lacking from a California zoo turned up at a church playground
Maki, a 21-year-old ring-tailed lemur with a constantly alarmed look on her face, was brought back to the San Francisco Zoo on Thursday. Daly City Police found him nervous near a church playground just 10 minutes from the zoo. Maki is believed to have been stolen from the zoo during an overnight break-in on Wednesday, San Francisco police said based on evidence of forced entry into his enclosure. Fortunately, a witness spotted Maki near Daly City Church on Thursday afternoon, and Daly City police captured and identified him, San Francisco police said. Maki was found in good health and returned to the zoo. That witness was a 5-year-old boy, according to CNN subsidiary KABC.
James Trinh, a young student at Hope Lutheran Church Day School, discovered the maki when his mother picked him up from school, his parents told the partner.
“‘Call the zookeeper!'” Recalled the 5-year-old animal lover.
Sarah Riggs, a kindergarten teacher there, told KABC the maki “hopped around the play structure” before hiding in a plastic playhouse as his rescue approached.
Police have not made any arrests in connection with Maki’s abduction and the investigation into the break-in at the zoo is ongoing.
Ring-tailed lemurs with their characteristic black-and-white striped tails and black-rimmed eyes are endangered in their native Madagascar. With an average life expectancy of 16 years, Maki is considered the elderly lemur and is hugely loved by the keepers at the San Francisco Zoo. Prior to his recovery, the zoo had offered a $ 2,100 reward for Maki’s safe return – $ 100 for each year of his lemur life.
CNN has reached out to the Zoo and Hope Lutheran Church Day School for comment on Maki’s return and is awaiting feedback. According to KABC, Maki is in the care of vets.