Officers rescue lemur on the loose in quiet neighborhood

Officers rescued a lemur from a Springfield neighborhood.
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 8:56 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3/Gray News) - Officers in Missouri found themselves in an unusual situation when they tracked down and rescued a lemur from a quiet neighborhood.

Springfield Police Department officers responded to a report of a lemur on a road around 10 p.m. Tuesday. After a short pursuit, they caught the creature and bundled it up in a towel.

Lemurs are small animals with pointed snouts, large eyes and long tails and are native to Madagascar.

The lemur was an uncommon sighting for Springfield residents, including Becky Sellers, who made the police call after spotting it.

“It first came across the road and hopped on our mirror,” she told KY3. “Then it came into the car.”

Sellers said the animal then seemed to go back and forth between her car and a neighbor’s car.

Despite the unusual situation, Sellers quickly noticed that the lemur seemed friendly and, more importantly, domesticated. She recognized it as someone’s pet.

The call for a lemur on the loose was certainly unexpected for the Springfield Police Department as well.

“This will be the first lemur that we have apprehended,” Cris Swaters, a spokesperson for the Springfield Police Department, said.

It took a collaborative effort from officers and citizens, but the lemur was in safe hands in about 10 minutes.

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department reported the lemur was unharmed and shortly reunited with its owner.

Officials said the owner cooperated with authorities and handed the lemur over after they learned it was against city ordinances to keep an exotic or wild animal as a pet. City ordinance 18-13 prohibits exotic animals or wildlife within the city limits of Springfield, a regulation that is also upheld by state statute.

For now, the lemur is being kept in a safe place while the health department determines where it will go in the future. It could potentially be rehomed in a zoo or sanctuary.

For those fortunate enough to be part of this unique lemur encounter, it’s a story that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

“While we can’t promise unusual interactions with animals every day... we can promise that police officers get to do something different every single day,” Swaters said.

Lemurs are small animals with pointed snouts, large eyes and long tails and are native to Madagascar.