According to police, someone stole a ring-tailed lemur named Isaac and released two monkeys onto Santa Ana Zoo property by using bolt-cutters to slice through the outer perimeter fencing and the fencing of two primate enclosures.
While investigating the break-in, the Santa Ana Police Department received a call from the Newport Police Department regarding the missing lemur, which had been located in front of a hotel in that city.
Police said someone dropped off a plastic crate containing Isaac at the Newport Beach hotel. A note left on the crate indicated that the lemur was property of the Santa Ana Zoo.
The damage to zoo property was more than $1,000, and the stolen lemur was valued at $3,000.
Isaac, 32, is the second-oldest ring-tailed lemur in North America. He's also on the endangered species list, making the theft a federal crime.
The motive for stealing Isaac remains unclear, according to police.
Zoo staff was able to recapture the other escaped monkeys and said it plans to review security procedures.
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