KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 — A 21-year-old ring-tailed lemur has been stolen from the San Francisco Zoo & Gardens, the second such incident to occur in a California zoo.

The lemur, named Maki, was found missing from the zoo on Tuesday morning.

In a statement issued via its website, the San Francisco police department said officers arrived on scene and discovered forced entry to the animal enclosure where the lemur was housed.

“Investigators have processed the scene for evidence and the burglary is under investigation,” it said, adding that lemur was an endangered animal and requires specialised care.

Meanwhile, NBC News quoted zoo executive vice-president of animal behaviour and wellness Jason Watters as appealing to the public to return Maki.

“We understand that lemurs are adorable animals, but Maki is a highly endangered animal that requires special care.”

The network reported that Maki was taken from the Lipman Family Lemur Forest, which is the largest outdoor habitat for lemurs in the United States. 

That habitat has seven types of lemurs, but no other animals were reported missing.

“As one of our oldest lemurs, Maki requires a specialised diet. Of the 19 lemurs here, at 21.5 years, he has exceeded median life expectancy of 16.7 years, but is also one of the slowest, and we believe, likely, the easiest to catch,” Watters said.

In 2018, Aquinas Kasbar of Newport Beach broke into the Santa Ana Zoo after it had closed for the night and used bolt cutters to steal a ring-tailed lemur named Isaac.

Isaac, which was 32 years old and the oldest ring-tailed lemur in captivity in North America — was left outside a Newport Beach hotel the next day in a plastic container with a note saying the animal belonged to the zoo.