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29 September 2010, 10:08 | Updated: 29 September 2010, 12:07
Kirioka, the red-bellied lemur from Drusillas Park, East Sussex has been returned to the zoo safe and well after 6 days on the run.
Zoo keepers caught up with the furry fugitive in nearby woodlands just after 6.30 last night, after enticing him into an animal carrier box with some of his favourite foods.
Head Keeper, Mark Kenward commented: “Since we discovered his location a few days ago, we have been feeding Kirioka and keeping a very close eye on him.”
“The keepers set up a number of feeding platforms within the trees, set inside animal carriers. I discovered Kirioka within one of the boxes on Thursday evening and using a pulley system created by our Deputy Head Keeper, Jason O’Connell, I was able to secure the door from a distance causing minimal stress to the animal.”
Kirioka absconded from the zoo on 22 September after an approach by another lemur sent him fleeing up the fence and through the electric deterrent. Early attempts to rescue the absentee were assisted by the police and fire department, utilising an aerial ladder to provide a treetop search of the area.
Mark commented: “We are incredibly grateful for the support we have received from both the public and the emergency services. If an animal does escape, and I must emphasise this is incredibly rare, it is a very worrying time for the keepers. We care a great deal for our animals.”
“For nearly a week now we have been working tirelessly to bring about Kirioka’s safe return. I can’t tell you how relived we are to have him back at Drusillas where he is safe and can be looked after properly. I am looking forward to actually getting some sleep now!”
Kirioka is now settling back into Drusillas Park’s walk-through enclosure, Lemurland.