Monkey business

Rare lemur found after brief escape from Ramat Gan Safari

Sai, 5, recovered by staff in nearby park, hours after fleeing from zoo; red-collared lemurs are native to Madagascar and classified as endangered

Michael Horovitz is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel

Sai, a 5-year-old red-collared lemur, that escaped from his enclosure at the Ramat Gan Safari in central Israel on February 14, 2023. (Ramat Gan Safari spokesperson)
Sai, a 5-year-old red-collared lemur, that escaped from his enclosure at the Ramat Gan Safari in central Israel on February 14, 2023. (Ramat Gan Safari spokesperson)

A red-collared lemur that escaped Ramat Gan Safari in central Israel was found on Wednesday morning by the zoo’s personnel, a number of hours after his breakout.

Sai, a five-year-old male of the rare species, was recovered by the facility’s staff at the nearby Ramat Gan National Park, the zoo said in a statement, without detailing how the escapee was captured.

The safari park announced that the lemur escaped his enclosure on Tuesday evening, and said their assumption was that he would find a tree branch to rest on overnight.

“Though the lemur is not dangerous, it is a wild animal and therefore anyone who sees him is requested not to approach or try to catch him,” the safari said, calling on members of the public to notify it if they spotted him.

Red-collared lemurs grow on average to 41 centimeters (16 inches) in length and weigh about 2.6 kilograms (5.5 pounds). They are native to Madagascar and are classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as endangered.

Two years ago, Tana, a 12-year-old orangutan, escaped from her enclosure at the park and climbed onto a tall tree near the staff compound.

After refusing attempts to coax her down with food, Tana was hit with a low-dose  tranquilizer dart with a low dosage and recaptured.

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