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A teen will spend 3 months in prison after stealing a lemur from a US zoo, stuffing him in a drawer, and abandoning him outside a hotel

Michelle Mark , Business Insider US
 Oct 30, 2019, 10:49 AM
Isaac, a 33-year-old lemur, was stolen from the Santa Ana Zoo in 2018 and abandoned outside a hotel.
  • A 19-year-old man was sentenced to three months in prison after pleading guilty to stealing America's oldest ring-tailed lemur, prosecutors said.
  • Aquinas Kasbar, 19, broke into the lemur enclosure at the Santa Ana Zoo last year using bolt cutters, and nabbed a 32-year-old lemur named Isaac.
  • Prosecutors said Kasbar then put Isaac in a plastic drawer labeled "Lemur (with tracker)" and abandoned him outside a hotel.
  • Kasbar pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of illegally taking an endangered species, and will pay $8,486 (R51,000) in restitution to the zoo.
  • Isaac survived the incident and was returned to the zoo uninjured. He turned 33 in July, according to CNN.
  • Go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za for more stories.

A 19-year-old man was sentenced to three months in federal prison after he stole America's oldest ring-tailed lemur from a California zoo and abandoned it in plastic drawer labelled "Lemur (with tracker)," prosecutors said Monday.

Aquinas Kasbar pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of illegally taking an endangered species. He's also been ordered to pay $8,486 (R51,000) in restitution to the zoo.

Prosecutors said Kasbar broke in to the Santa Ana Zoo in July 2018, used bolt cutters to open the lemur enclosure, and stole a 32-year-old animal named Isaac.

Several other animals escaped after Kasbar broke in, though prosecutors said they were all captured.

Prosecutors said Kasbar then put Isaac in a plastic drawer that had no ventilation holes, and left him outside a Newport Beach hotel.

This undated file booking photo, provided by the Orange County District Attorney's Office, shows Aquinas Kasbar, 19, of Newport Beach, Calif.
Orange County District Attorney's Office via Associated Press

Kasbar attached two notes to the drawer: "Lemur (with tracker)" and "This belongs to the Santa Ana Zoo it was taken last night please bring it to police."

Isaac the lemur is OK

Isaac survived the incident and was returned to the zoo uninjured. He turned 33 in July, according to CNN.

Ring-tailed lemurs, which are native to Madagascar, typically live between 20 and 25 years, court documents said. That makes Isaac a rare animal in an already endangered species.

Isaac has apparently bounced back after the incident. Zoo staff have posted a number of pictures of him on social media, showing the aging primate enjoying snacks in the sun and posing for "selfies."

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