According to police, someone stole a ring-tailed lemur named Isaac and released two monkeys onto zoo property by using bolt-cutters to slice through the outer perimeter fencing of the zoo as well as the fencing of two primate enclosures.
While investigating the break-in, the Santa Ana Police Department received a call from the Newport Police Department regarding the missing lemur, who had been located in front of a hotel in that city.
Police said someone dropped off a plastic crate containing Isaac at the Newport Beach hotel.
A note left on the crate indicated that the lemur was property of the Santa Ana Zoo.
The damage to zoo property was more than $1,000 and the stolen lemur was valued at $3,000.
Isaac, 32, is not only the second-oldest ring-tailed lemur in North America, he's also on the endangered species list, making the theft a federal crime.
The motive for stealing Isaac remains unclear, according to police.
Zoo staff was able to recapture the other escaped monkeys and said it plans to review security procedures.