The lemur thief was in violation of the Endangered Species Act.
Last Monday, 31-year-old Los Angeles resident Cory John McGilloway was charged with a violation of the Endangered Species Act, following his alleged October abduction of "Maki," a 21-year-old endangered lemur.
On October 13, 2020, McGilloway allegedly stole one of the San Francisco Zoo's four ring-tailed lemurs, according to the US Attorney's Office Northern District of California. The Guardian reported at the time that "Police found evidence of a forced entry to the enclosure." After two days' concern and the offer of a $2,100 reward for information, Maki was spotted on October 15 at Treasure Island. A woman informed the San Francisco Police Department that she had seen and filmed a man "walking a lemur on a leash." He had "distinctive tattoos" (the man, not the lemur) and led Maki to a maroon Saab.
Later that same day, a 5-year-old boy spotted the elderly Maki at a Daly City playground, where authorities caught and returned the "hungry, dehydrated, and agitated" lemur to the zoo. That very evening, shortly before midnight, "police responded to a shoplifting report at the Smart & Final store and found McGilloway driving a stolen sanitary dump truck"—with a maroon Saab "parked nearby." It didn't take long for him to be connected to Maki's theft.
McGilloway's next scheduled court appearance is on July 21 for a "status hearing before United States Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley." If eventually convicted, he could face up to one year in jail and a potential fine of $50,000.
In the meantime, one day after McGilloway's charge, the San Francisco Zoo posted a picture of a happy and healthy Maki.
The sun is out and Maki is having a good day 🌞 pic.twitter.com/mX81ihf8MU— San Francisco Zoo (@sfzoo) June 22, 2021
The caption might as well have read, "Me: unbothered, moisturized, in my lane, well-hydrated, flourishing. (No thanks to McGilloway)."
What a wild story—we'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!