Aquinas Kasbar reportedly wanted to keep Issac the 32-year-old, ring-tailed lemur as a pet
Zoo are not where pets come from, but that didn’t stop a California teen from treating the Santa Ana Zoo like an animal shelter.
According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, the 19-year-old Aquinas Kasbar of Newport Beach, California, pleaded guilty “to a federal criminal charge for breaking into the Santa Ana Zoo after hours and stealing North America’s oldest-living ring-tailed lemur in captivity in order to keep the endangered animal as a pet.”
Kasbar pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of unlawfully taking an endangered species and is now scheduled for an October 28 sentencing hearing, where he will face “a statutory maximum sentence of one year in federal prison and a $100,000 fine,” the release continues.
In his plea agreement, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, Kasbar admitted to sneaking into California’s Santa Ana Zoo after hours on July 27, 2018 and to using “bolt cutters to cut a hole in the zoo’s enclosures for lemurs and capuchin monkeys, which enabled several of the animals to escape, though they were later recovered.” Kasbar also admitted to stealing North America’s oldest ring-tailed lemur in captivity, a 32-year-old critter named Issac, from the zoo, so he could keep Issac as a pet.
The day after the heist, Kasbar left Issac in a plastic box with no ventilation holes in front of a Newport Beach hotel with a note that said the lemur belonged to the Santa Ana Zoo, states the release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
“Kasbar’s actions resulted in a loss to the Santa Ana Zoo of approximately $8,486. Isaac later was returned unharmed to the zoo,” the release closes.