Man sentenced to prison for stealing lemur from California zoo

Written by on November 3, 2019 in Critter Crimes, Critter MIA - No comments

A teenager has been sentenced to 90-days in a federal prison for stealing a ring-tailed lemur from the Santa Ana Zoo in California in 2018.

Aquinas Kasbar of Newport Beach also has to pay more than $8,000 in restitution to the zoo, according to the Oct. 28 ruling.

The teen pleaded guilty in July to one count of unlawfully taking an endangered species.

Kasbar had planned to keep the animal as his pet, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

Kasbar admitted he broke into the zoo, cut a hole in an enclosure and took Isaac, who at 32-years-old happened to be the oldest member of its species in captivity in North America.

“Kasbar then placed Isaac in a plastic drawer that lacked ventilation holes, court papers state. The next day, Kasbar abandoned the animal in front of a Newport Beach hotel, leaving him in the same plastic drawer with two notes placed on it, which read, ‘Lemur (with tracker)’ and ‘This belongs to the Santa Ana Zoo it was taken last night please bring it to police,'” according to court documents.

Aquinas Kasbar, 19, of Newport Beach, Calif. has been sentenced to three months in federal prison. Photo: Orange County District Attorney’s Office

Isaac was unharmed in the ordeal.

And, the lemur turned 33 in July. Lemurs typically live 20 to 25 years.

Lemurs are native to Madagascar and among the world’s most endangered primates. They are endangered, in part, because of the illegal pet trade, the court noted.

Main photo Santa Ana Zoo/Facebook

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About the Author

Dawn Walton

Recovering newspaper reporter.

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