SOUTHWEST RANCHES, Fla. – In a shocking twist, this “only in Florida” story doesn’t involve a ‘gator in a swimming pool — it involves two adorable, yet wild lemurs who seem to have escaped from their home.
Friday morning, the Davie Police Department posted a photo of a lemur with the caption, “LOST LEMUR: Attention residents, a lost lemur has been found in the area of Stirling Rd and SW 130 Ave, in Southwest Ranches. If you know who the owner is or are the owner, please contact the Davie Police Department at 954-693-8200. Thank you.”
Reports indicate that the lemur duo was first spotted in Cooper City, Thursday, and one of the lemurs was spotted in Southwest Ranches, Friday morning. The only place where lemurs are supposed to be seen out in the wild is Madagascar, not in Cooper City or Southwest Ranches.
On Thursday, the two primates were checking out Flamingo West Park just off of Stirling Road. Then, Friday morning, one of them was seen skirting the canals in Southwest Ranches.
According to Davie Police, the lemur spotted today in Southwest Ranches has been captured by animal control and turned over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. However, it is still an ongoing investigation, and the second lemur remains loose.
LOST LEMUR: Attention residents, a lost lemur has been found in the area of Stirling Rd and SW 130 Ave, in Southwest Ranches.— Davie Police Dept. (@DaviePolice) April 23, 2021
If you know who the owner is or are the owner, please contact the Davie Police Department at 954-693-8200.
Thank you. pic.twitter.com/S5BJMXfEaW
According to Zoo Miami Director Ron Magill, lemurs are actually a fairly common pet — especially in South Florida.
“Certainly not something we’d expect, but being in South Florida, it’s not shocking,” says Magill.
LEMURS ON THE LOOSE! 🐒— Ian Margol (@IanMargolWPLG) April 23, 2021
Two lemurs were spotted in @CooperCityGOV Thursday and again in Southwest Ranches Friday! They’re not native to SoFla, so experts assume they’re pets that got loose. One was caught by animal control, but the other is still out there!
📸 credit: Mary Byrne pic.twitter.com/STIshSpnDp
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officials say lemurs are a “class 3 animal,” meaning a permit from the FWC is required to possess the lemur, but it is legal to have as long as you have that permit.
“There are a lot of people who do have permits and do maintain lemurs and they are very smart so it’s very feasible that one has escaped,” he explains.
Furthermore, there are also specific caging requirements for lemurs as they are a non-native species.
Therefore, if the owner of the pair of lemurs does not have said permit, they could be subject to citation.
Now, the second lemur remains on the loose — and this poor lemur may be very scared. “Especially if these two were together, now they’re separated, the one that’s remaining could be a little more frightened,” explains Magill. “These animals could give you a really, really nasty bite. Please don’t approach it.”
The first lemur captured will remain at the FWC licensed facility until they finish conducting their investigation and the owner comes forward.