Maki, a 21-year-old endangered lemur stolen from the San Francisco Zoo, was found by a 5-year-old Asian American child in the parking lot of Hope Lutheran Day School in Daly City, California.
The San Francisco Police Department was called in after San Francisco Zoo employees found the lemur missing on last Wednesday morning, according to the SFPD’s reports
“Officers arrived on scene and discovered forced entry to the animal enclosure where the lemur was housed,” authorities said.
The zoo later posted on social media asking for the public’s help and put up a $2,100 reward for anyone who could help out with the search.
The lemur was found safe a day later by James Trinh, a kindergartner at Hope Lutheran Day School. He was the first person to spot Maki in the school’s parking lot while he was being picked up by his mother, ABC7 News
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After spotting the animal, Trinh immediately called his friends, and their parents also followed. Everyone watched Maki, who wandered around the yard and eventually took shelter in a playhouse.
The parents called animal control and the Daly City police to report the sighting.
In addition to Maki’s safe return in his enclosure, police were also able to take the man connected to the burglary into custody.
Cory McGilloway, a 30-year-old Los Angeles resident, was arrested in San Rafael around 10 p.m. last Thursday on “shoplifting and theft of a truck”
charges, NBC News
However, authorities only found his connection to the stolen lemur after they looked into his phone and discovered several pictures of Maki.
“We don’t believe in a lot of coincidences in police work, so they put two and two together,” San Rafael police Lt. Dan Fink said.
McGilloway, who is currently held in Marin County, is set to be transferred to San Francisco to be booked for burglary, grand theft of an animal, looting and vandalism charges. It is still unclear why he broke into the San Francisco Zoo and took Maki from its enclosure.
SF Zoo Director Tanya Peterson stated they are giving the $2,100 reward to the Hope Lutheran school and offering Trinh’s family a lifetime zoo membership.