An accused lemur schemer is coming clean.
The fight for preserving endangered animals scored a major victory when a 19-year-old California man agreed to plead guilty to stealing a rare lemur from a zoo last year.
Aquinas Kasbar admitted in a plea agreement to swiping Isaac — a 32-year-old ring-tailed lemur — from the Santa Ana Zoo last July, according to the Department of Justice.
The night of the animal’s abduction, Kasbar snuck into the zoo after hours and used a bolt cutter to create an opening in the lemur’s enclosure.
In the process, Capuchin monkeys escaped from the same cage and had to be recovered by zoo staffers, the DOJ stated in a press release.
The kidnapped critter — the oldest of its species in North American captivity — was recovered after Kasbar dropped the animal off in a plastic drawer near a Newport Beach Hotel.
Attached to the container was a note that read: “This belongs to the Santa Ana Zoo it was taken last night please bring it to police,” according to prosecutors.
Kasbar has been charged with unlawfully taking an endangered species and may face a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
The alleged lemur looter’s scheduled court date is May 28.
His actions cost Santa Ana Zoo roughly $8,486, according to court papers.
Scientific American reported in 2017 that only 2,000 ring-tailed lemurs remain in their native Madagascar — a whopping 95% decrease in population since 2000.
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