Maki, the 21-year-old ring-tailed lemur stolen from the San Francisco Zoo this week, was found safe in a nearby city Thursday, and an arrest has been made in the case, police said.
The animal was spotted by a woman in Daly City, south of San Francisco, around 5 p.m., and Maki was captured and returned to the zoo, San Francisco police said in a statement. Daly City police said the animal was found in a church playground about four miles from the zoo.
The lemur, one of the oldest at the zoo, was discovered missing Wednesday morning after a report of a burglary, police said.
On Friday, San Francisco police said that a 30-year-old man arrested in the city of San Rafael on Thursday is a suspect in the theft of the lemur and would be transported to San Francisco to be booked on charges.
The Daly City Police Department on Thursday tweeted a photo of Maki and said they were grateful the animal is back at the zoo.
The department said they got a report that Maki was in the playground area and “contained him until staff from the zoo took him back home.”
San Francisco police officers who responded to the San Francisco Zoo & Gardens Wednesday morning found there had been forced entry into the enclosure where Maki was housed, police have said.
Cory McGilloway, 30, was arrested in San Rafael, a city north of San Francisco, around 10 p.m. Thursday on charges of shoplifting and theft of a truck, police there said.
It was his phone that led investigators in that city to contact San Francisco police, San Rafael police Lt. Dan Fink said. The phone had photos of a lemur.
“We don’t believe in a lot of coincidences in police work, so they put two and two together” and contacted San Francisco police, Fink said.
McGilloway is being held in Marin County and will be transferred at some point to San Francisco to be booked on charges of burglary, grand theft of an animal, looting and vandalism, officials said.
A possible motive in the break-in at the zoo and the theft of Maki was not disclosed.
McGilloway was arrested after police in San Rafael responded to a report of shoplifting in which $500 worth of groceries were stolen, but the suspect had left, Fink said.
While there, a report was made to police that a truck had been stolen from a business across the street, officers saw the truck drive by and stopped it, which led to McGilloway’s arrest and the search of his phone, Fink said.
Fink said that McGilloway is a resident of Los Angeles. A phone number for a residence of McGilloway in the Los Angeles area could not be immediately found Friday night. It was not clear if he had an attorney.
Online jail records list McGilloway’s occupation as construction.
The zoo had pleaded for the public’s help in locating Maki, in part because of the animal’s specialized diet and age.
Ring-tailed lemurs are native only to Madagascar and considered an endangered species. The zoo earlier Thursday announced a reward of $2,100 — $100 for every year of Maki’s life — for information leading to its recovery.
The zoo on Friday tweeted its thanks to police in San Francisco and Daly City, as well as Hope Lutheran Church, for the safe return of Maki.
“The San Francisco Zoological Society will be making a donation to the church in Maki’s honor. Thank you, all!” the zoo said.