Teenager Pleads Guilty For Stealing Endangered Lemur To Keep As His Pet

Lemur Stolen
VCG/VCG via Getty Images
VCG/VCG via Getty Images

In July 2018, it was discovered that Isaac, a 32-year-old lemur, was missing from its enclosure from the Santa Ana Zoo in California. Isaac is the oldest-ling ring-tailed lemur living in captivity in North America.

In May 2019, 19-year-old Aquinas “Quinn” Kasbar agreed to plead guilty to the crime on one misdemeanor count of unlawful taking of an endangered species. Kasbar had sneaked into the zoo after hours and used bolt cutters to open the lemur and Capuchin monkey enclosure.

After Kasbar had opened a hole in the fence, he grabbed Issac, intending to keep him as a pet. He then dangerously placed the endangered lemur in a plastic drawer with no ventilation holes.

By the next day, Kasbar had second thoughts about keeping Isaac as a pet and left the drawer in front of a Newport Beach hotel with notes stating, “Lemur with Tracker” and “This belongs to the Santa Ana Zoo it was taken last night please bring it to police.”

A spokesman from the U.S. Attorney’s office was happy to announce that Isaac was healthy and safe although Kasbar’s actions had cost upwards of $8,000 in damages.

Kasbar’s charges carry a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a fine of $100,000. Unbelievably, this isn’t Kasbar’s first time stealing animals either. He is currently a suspect in a series of robberies on Balboa Island in which a woman’s tortoise was stolen which she had owned for ten years.