By now you have heard that a lemur was stolen from the Santa Ana Zoo over the weekend. The good news is that it has since been recovered after it was dropped off at a Newport Beach hotel, according to the O.C. Register.
Apparently a group of suspects climbed over a wall on the Zoo’s perimeter then cut fences on two enclosures that contained a group of Capuchin monkeys and the lemur, according to the SAPD.
The Zoo staff and the police were able to round up the Capuchin monkeys, which must have been quite a sight to see, in about an hour. But they could not find the lemur.
Just as the police investigators were starting to devise a plan to find the lemur they got a call from the Newport Beach Marriott Bayview hotel, where a lemur had been found inside a zoo container left in the hotel lobby.
Fortunately the lemur was not hurt during his kidnapping. A note was left with the lemur indicating that he had been stolen and that the police should be called.
The SAPD is not sure if the lemur theft was a prank or if the thieves had a change of heart.
Or perhaps the miscreants read about how lemurs smash bugs and then wipe the resulting goo on their genitals, as reported recently by the Smithsonian. They do this to fight infections – but perhaps the missing lemur wiped some bug guts on his kidnappers?
Currently the SAPD believes that there are multiple suspects involved in the Zoo shenanigans. Their actions caused about a thousand dollars worth of damage, which the cash-strapped Zoo can ill afford.
Whoever took the lemur could face federal charges as these animals are an endangered species.
The Santa Ana Zoo lost its accreditation last year, when the Association of Zoos & Aquariums found that the monkey habitats were outdated and not consistent with modern zoological practices, as we reported.
Now one must wonder what is up with security at the Santa Ana Zoo? How in the world do they allow folks to just break in and steal their animals?
You can by the way visit the Orange County Zoo, which features animals native to California and the U.S. and is located at the Irvine Park, for $2 per person plus a $3 parking fee during the week which increases to $5 on weekends. Ages 2 years and under are free. You can also buy an annual parking pass to all Orange County Parks and Beaches for $80.
Or you can take the family to the Santa Ana Zoo, which features animals that are mostly not native to California, for a whopping $12 per adult or $9 for children aged 3-7. Parking is free as are kids under 3.
On Resident Free Day, the third Sunday of each month, residents of Santa Ana may visit the Santa Ana Zoo for free. Proof of residency (driver’s license, utility bill) will be required upon arrival. Not valid to schools or business addresses.
Remaining Residence Free Days for 2018: Aug. 19, Sep. 16, Oct. 21, Nov. 18, and Dec. 16.