Federally endangered animal caught after being found in Bloomington garage

Ring-tailed lemur
Ring-tailed lemur(Miller Park Zoo)
Published: Jan. 13, 2023 at 11:14 AM CST
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BLOOMINGTON (25 News Now) - Suspicious sounds in a Bloomington family’s garage turned out to be a federally protected ring-tailed lemur.

The Miller Park Zoo says the lemur, nicknamed “Julian” after King Julian of the Madagascar movies, was collected by zoo staff and transferred to the zoo.

The lemur’s origins are unknown. The Illinois Conservation Police and local authorities are investigating the ownership and permitting of the lemur.

“I greatly appreciate that the family asked for help in recovering this animal,” zoo director Jay Pratte said in a release. “We will work with the IDNR on the next steps of King Julian’s journey.”

Ring-tailed lemurs are native to the island of Madagascar and are currently listed as “Endangered” by the IUCN Red List, according to a release. A social species, the lemur has evolved to live in large troops, engaging in social interactions with members of its own species.

The animals are not domesticated and should not be kept as pets. Possessing large canine teeth, lemurs can cause significant injury, and animals may carry zoonotic pathogens which can be transmitted directly to humans.

All lemurs are protected by the Federal Endangered Species Act and should be managed under expert care by qualified zoological organizations.

The family heard the lemur in their garage Wednesday night and waited until Thursday to investigate.

They first called the conservation police who then contacted the zoo.

Anyone with information on this animal’s origins is asked to reach out to the Illinois Conservation Police at 1-877-2DNRLAW (236-7529).