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Man Gets Prison for Stealing Endangered Lemur From Zoo

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SANTA ANA — An Orange County man was sentenced today to three months in federal prison for breaking into the Santa Ana Zoo after hours and stealing North America’s oldest ring-tailed lemur in captivity to keep the endangered animal as his pet.

Aquinas Kasbar, 19, of Newport Beach, was given the 90-day prison sentence by United States District Judge Andrew J. Guilford, who also ordered him to pay $8,486 in restitution to the zoo.

Kasbar pleaded guilty on July 8 to one misdemeanor count of unlawfully taking an endangered species. He broke into the Santa Ana Zoo on July 27, 2018 after it had closed for the day. He then used bolt cutters to cut a hole in the zoo’s enclosures for lemurs and capuchin monkeys, which enabled several of the animals to escape, though they were later recovered.

While inside the zoo, Kasbar stole Isaac, a 32-year-old, ring-tailed lemur (lemur catta) and the oldest such lemur in captivity in North America. (Isaac turned 33 years old in July; a lemur’s lifespan typically is between 20 years and 25 years.)

The ring-tailed lemur is native to Madagascar and is on a list of the 25 most endangered primates, according to court documents. Ring-tailed lemurs are endangered, in part, because of the illegal pet trade, court papers state.

Kasbar then placed Isaac in a plastic drawer that lacked ventilation holes, court papers state. The next day, Kasbar abandoned the animal in front of a Newport Beach hotel, leaving him in the same plastic drawer with two notes placed on it, which read, “Lemur (with tracker)” and “This belongs to the Santa Ana Zoo it was taken last night please bring it to police,” according to court documents.

Kasbar’s actions resulted in a loss to the Santa Ana Zoo of approximately $8,486. Isaac later was returned unharmed to the zoo.

his case was investigated by the FBI, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Newport Beach Police Department, and the Santa Ana Police Department.

This matter was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Daniel H. Ahn of the Santa Ana Branch Office and Erik M. Silber of the Environmental and Community Safety Crimes Section.

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Celebrity News

‘BH Cop’ Actress Mauled by Her Pit Bulls at WeHo Home

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'Beverly Hills Cop' Actress Heather Parkhurst Mauled by Her Pit Bulls

WEST HOLLYWOOD (TMZ) — Heather Elizabeth Parkhurst — an actress who’s appeared in “Alpha Dog” and “Beverly Hills Cop III” — damn near got her arm torn off when her pit bulls turned on each other, mauling her in the process.

Heather’s fiance, Mark Nason, tells TMZ … the scary incident went down Friday night at their West Hollywood home. We’re told Heather was petting their 7-month-old pit, Baby, when their other pit bull, 8-year-old Buddha, suddenly appeared to get jealous and growled.

Click here to see the photos at TMZ (viewer discretion advised)

And, that’s when Baby and Buddah lunged at each other but Heather’s right hand and arm got caught in the middle of the violent melee.

The attack left Heather — who’s also acted on TV shows like “NYPD Blue” and “Married with Children” — a bloody mess. She was rushed to the hospital to treat gruesome injuries, including crushed bones in her hand, torn ligaments and other deep cuts throughout her arm.

We’re told doctors inserted pins and stitched up her arm but she remains hospitalized.

Mark tells us Heather will now require nearly a year of therapy to recover. As for the dogs, Mark says they have every intention to keep Buddha and Baby because they’re huge pit bull advocates.

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)

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Pets & Animals

Mountain Lion Killed in Santa Monica Mountains Under State Law

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SANTA MONICA (NBCLA) — P-56 is the first radio-collared mountain lion to be killed under the state depredation law in the Santa Monica Mountains.

A male mountain lion being tracked by National Park Service researchers in the Santa Monica Mountains was killed by a property owner under a state law allowing such action following repeated attacks on pets or livestock, park officials have announced.

According to the NPS, the lion known as P-56 had been living in the western Santa Monica Mountains south of the Ventura (101) Freeway. He was believed to be between 4 and 5 years old.

P-56 is also believed to have fathered at least four other lions. The lion was killed Jan. 27. NPS officials said he is the first radio- collared lion being tracked by researchers to be […]

Continue reading at nbclosangeles.com

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Pets & Animals

Man Enters Plea to Shooting Dog in La Mirada

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West Hollywood Doctor Indicted In Fraud Case

LOS ANGELES– A Lakewood man pleaded no contest for fatally shooting a dog last month, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has announced.

Shane Michael Dubyak, 23, entered the plea to one felony count of cruelty to an animal and admitted using a revolver in the commission of the crime.
 
Deputy District Attorney Mireya Camacho said Dubyak was immediately sentenced to five years in state prison and is prohibited from caring, owning or possessing any animals for 10 years.

On January 5, the defendant shot a 15-year-old terrier named Kurtis that was left under his care in the 16400 block of Phoebe Avenue in La Mirada, the prosecutor said. A few days later, police spotted Dubyak and he fled when they attempted to detain him but was ultimately arrested.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Norwalk Station.

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