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Man pleads guilty to stealing lemur from Santa Ana Zoo

SANTA ANA, Calif. — A man who stole a ring-tailed lemur from a Southern California zoo has pleaded guilty to a federal crime.

Nineteen-year-old Aquinas Kasbar of Newport Beach entered the plea Monday to unlawfully taking an endangered species. He could face up to a year in federal prison and a $100,000 fine when he’s sentenced in October.

In a plea agreement, Kasbar acknowledged that he broke into the Santa Ana Zoo last year, cut a hole in the zoo enclosure for lemurs and took 32-year-old Isaac, the oldest captive ring-tailed lemur in North America.

The animal was placed in a plastic container with no ventilation and later abandoned at a Newport Beach hotel with notes identifying it as having been taken from the zoo.

It was returned unharmed.

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