JEFFERSON, Ga. - A family pleads for their kidnapped furry family member to be returned home safely this holiday season, and is offering a monetary reward to his rescuer.
The missing Ring-Tailed Lemur goes by the name "Rascal", is one foot tall in height, and loves treats of blueberries and cantaloupe.
Rascal went missing between the evening of Nov. 21 and the morning of Nov. 22 from the Minish family business in Jefferson, called M&M Pet Store.
"He is with someone that I know doesn't know how to take care of him," said owner Lem Minish, who bought Rascal when he was just a baby 5 years ago.
Lemurs are primates that require a specialized diet, and can only be owned with a U.S. Department of Agriculture and a Georgia Department of Natural Resources permit for exotic animals, Minish said.
The Minish family houses other primates and exotic animals in an enclosure adjacent to their pet store. The animals, including Rascal, are part of their touring petting zoo.
"Rascal was like holding a teddy bear," Minish said, who believes the lemur simply jumped onto his kidnapper after they broke into the enclosure.
Jefferson Police are investigating the case, and said in their report a suspicious person came to the business on Nov. 21 and requested chicken cages for a vendor. The family said the person took off with the cages and never came back to return them.
"We miss him really bad. He's our buddy," said daughter Lisa Minish.