An endangered ring-tailed lemur was found in the back of a Florida man’s trailer while he was being arrested for driving under the influence.
Florida Man is known to possess quite a few exotic animals, including alligators, snakes, and at one point, a kangaroo. And the legalities of animal ownership are of no concern to Florida Man, so occasionally he gets himself animals that are illegal to own.
But rarely does he get his hands on something so rare as to be considered critically endangered in the wild.
The ring-tailed lemur is one such animal that scientists believe to be at risk of imminent extinction. Only 2,000 examples are believed to remain in their native woodlands of Madagascar thanks to poaching and human encroachment on their habitat.
Occasionally, lemurs are nabbed from the wild to be used as pets. They don’t make great pets as they can’t be house trained and are highly social creatures that need others of their own kind to feel safe and secure. Neither of these facts is considered all that much by Florida Man, of course, who will acquire a ring-tailed lemur just because it’s cool to own one.
And thus we have Shane Taylor, age 27, who was arrested Saturday night for driving intoxicated. He was reported by several motorists to be driving erratically, smashing into several other cars, and having sparks coming from his trailer--all of which can be seen on the dashcam footage from Florida State Troopers.
You can also just make out the tiny, grey shape of Taylor’s ring-tailed lemur hopping from the trailer to the ground. The trooper notices the little primate and appears to even perform a double-take with his flashlight, illuminating the animal for a brief moment and then again a moment later to confirm that yes, it is indeed a ring-tailed lemur.
Shane was at least cognizant enough to warn the troopers arresting him that his lemur bites.
In addition to the endangered animal, Taylor was also relieved of a goat, tortoise, parrot, and a wallaby. They’re all with state wildlife control services.
As for Taylor, he was charged with a DUI, driving without a license, and reckless driving. It's unknown if he’s retained a lawyer or not.