BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — The Herald family owns two cats but finding a lemur in their garage was quite the surprise.
“It was like black and gray so I thought it was a racoon,” said Kurt Herald when he first saw an animal in his yard.
But as Kurt soon found out, the black and gray tail he found in his yard did not belong to a racoon. It belonged to a ring-tailed lemur, an endangered animal native Madagascar.
Kurt said seeing stray animals isn’t uncommon because of a nearby creek. But the shock came Jan. 11 when the lemur ran in his direction into his garage.
“I thought it was a monkey at first. I was excited we had a monkey in our garage,” said Kurt’s son Karter.
Kurt’s wife Amy started doing research to see what it was.
“I looked it up cause I didn’t know,” she said.
Once Amy told Kurt it was a lemur, he started searching for the lemur’s owner that night, going outside to see if anyone was calling for a missing pet. The next morning he asked for help from a neighbor.
“My neighbor over here is a veterinarian. So I caught him as he was leaving and asked him if he had any customers in our neighborhood that had a lemur. He looked at me like I was crazy and was like ‘no,'” Kurt said.
Kurt also posted in a lost and found Facebook group the same morning to find the owner. The admin of the group notified Kurt that the department of natural resources wanted to contact him. Once they made contact the conservation police and Miller Park Zoo showed up to retrieve the animal.
Kurt is a combat veteran and handyman but this experience is one for the books.
“Never did I think walking into my garage one day and finding an animal in there would be the strangest thing that I’d stumble into,” he said.