It all started on Wednesday afternoon, when it was announced that a ring-tailed lemur named Maki had been stolen from the Lipman Family Lemur Forest at San Francisco Zoo by unknown intruders. Police, eager to get him home safely, quickly asked the public for help.
After City-Wide Kidnap Drama, Maki the Ring-Tailed Lemur is Home at the Zoo
Details trickled out slowly: Maki is 21, was born in the zoo and has at least one child. He has cute little white ears, chestnut eyes, and a squiffy little face. Police believe he was singled out from the other lemurs because he was "the slowest of the troop" and therefore, the "easiest to capture." (You have to start working out, Maki!)
On Twitter, a dedicated Maki account quickly popped up. Elsewhere on social media, rumors and conjecture started to circulate in earnest. Maki was drinking at a bar, he was for sale, he was "tired of lockdown." One person even accused him of being a monkey. (The nerve!) One conspiracy theorist suggested it had been an inside job. "Check every staff's house, closet, garage, strt w zoo keeper," @bujheekom implored.
Emotions ran high as animal lovers across the city willed Maki's safe return.
Others tried to discourage the thieves from keeping Maki by shaming them, cursing humanity, and offering practical information about lemurs being "stinky."
Twenty-four hours into the search for Maki, the San Francisco Zoo offered a $2,100 reward for the safe return of their lemur, along with a photo of his tiny food-covered face being totes adorbs.
Zoos as far-flung as Wichita, Kansas felt San Francisco Zoo's pain and sent best wishes:
Then finally, on Thursday afternoon, the news we had all been waiting for! Sam Trinh reported that his wife and 5-year-old son James had spotted Maki as they left the day care center at Hope Lutheran Church in Daly City, at around 5pm.
The news was quickly confirmed by the church's pastor (the first trans pastor to be ordained in the Lutheran church, no less!), Rev. Megan Rohrer.
Maki went quietly, judging by this footage:
The Daly City police were evidently pleased with their collar.
Maki is now back in the zoo, resting his slow, stripy butt after his big adventure. No word yet on any at-large suspects, or where that reward is going, but some folks are suggesting it should go to 5-year-old hero James Trinh.
For more on the weird stuff that ring-tailed lemurs get up to when they're not on the run, here's a handy video.
Go back to sheltering in place, Maki!