A lemur spotted wandering in a backyard in Turlock has found a temporary home at the Sacramento zoo.
Zoo officials said there is no evidence the lemur had escaped from a zoo or sanctuary and that leads them to believe the ring-tailed lemur was part of the illegal animal trade, the Sacramento Bee reported Saturday (http://bit.ly/1ODtF7G ).
"Nobody in the area who is supposed to have a lemur is missing a lemur," said Tonja Candelaria, a zoo spokeswoman. "We are assuming that someone illegally purchased this lemur, had him at their house and he escaped or was let loose."
The lemur was found in December by a Turlock resident who called authorities.
The animal's behavior shows he hasn't lived with other lemurs, more proof that he is a product of the illegal pet trade, zoo officials said.
"He doesn't understand normal lemur social skills," Candelaria said.
The lemur will have to eventually go to a place where he can learn those skills, she said.
"We must find a place that knows how to help him learn those skills so that he can live with a troop of other lemurs," she said.
The zoo does have black and white ruffed lemurs and mongoose lemurs. For the time-being, their solitary striped-tailed cousin is on display near them.
Lemurs are native to Madagascar off the coast of Africa.
Information from: The Sacramento Bee, http://www.sacbee.com