Colchester Zoo escaped lemur cornered by police

Red-ruffed lemur on roadside The red-ruffed lemur was recaptured after hopping into a nearby garden

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A lemur which escaped from Colchester Zoo was cornered in a garden by police before being recaptured by keepers.

The red-ruffed lemur was seen on the loose next to Maldon Road, Stanway, by motorists on Sunday evening.

Essex Police said two officers contained the animal after reports of a "monkey" on the road. Zoo staff arrived 20 minutes later to catch it.

Colchester Zoo said the recaptured lemur was "fine".

Motorist Olivia Quinn, 18, from Colchester, was on her way to the supermarket when she saw the animal on the roadside at about 20:30 BST.

Police car on Maldon Road, Stanway Police arrived on the scene shortly after the lemur was spotted

She thought it was a cat or a fox at first, but then spotted it hopping.

She tried to call the zoo, while another motorist called the police.

"Because we were close to the zoo we thought it had escaped, so we stopped the car to watch so the lemur wouldn't get lost completely," she said.

Red-ruffed lemurs

  • Red-ruffed lemurs are native to the island of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean
  • They live in rainforests, typically in small groups of up to 16
  • The females build their nests in the treetops but the babies often die as they tend to fall out
  • Red-ruffed lemurs group together in the wet season when there is lots of fruit but break away when food is harder to find

"It wasn't scared, it was just exploring and went and sat in a front garden.

"The police came straight away and the keeper came about 10 minutes later.

"We were told to get back in our car so we didn't scare it away."

In November, three wolves were shot dead after a five-strong pack escaped by breaking through a fence at Colchester Zoo.

Three months earlier nearby residents were warned not to approach a wild pig that had gone on the run.

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