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Teen Admits to Stealing Isaac the Lemur From a California Zoo

Federal authorities say he's agreed to plead guilty
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 20, 2019 3:45 PM CDT
Guy Stole a Lemur From a California Zoo
This undated photo provided by the Santa Ana Zoo shows a ring-tailed lemur at the Santa Ana Zoo in Santa Ana, Calif.   (Santa Ana Zoo via AP)

(Newser) – Federal prosecutors say a man has agreed to plead guilty to stealing a ring-tailed lemur from a Southern California zoo, the AP reports. The US attorney's office says in a news release that 19-year-old Aquinas Kasbar of Newport Beach agreed to plead guilty to one misdemeanor count of unlawfully taking an endangered species. According to a plea agreement filed Monday, prosecutors say Kasbar broke into the Santa Ana Zoo after hours on July 27, 2018, cut open an enclosure using bolt cutters, and took a 32-year-old lemur named Isaac—the oldest ring-tailed lemur in US captivity, per CNN.

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The animal was placed in a hotel drawer with no ventilation and later abandoned at a Newport Beach hotel with notes including one that identified the animal as "Lemur (with tracker)" and another that said, "This belongs to the Santa Ana Zoo it was taken last night please bring it to police." Media reported that Isaac wasn't hurt and was returned home. Kasbar faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine. (Read more weird crimes stories.)

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