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Rescued Ringtail Mistaken for Lemur

ringtail
Ringtail cat with tree rock and plants. | Image by Carlos R Cedillo/Shutterstock

A well-meaning woman in San Antonio was chased out of her car by an injured animal she mistook for something more docile earlier this month.

San Antonio Animal Care Services referred to the woman as Miss U in a Facebook post recounting the episode last weekend.

Driving down the road one evening, Miss U spotted an injured animal.

“She saw the small, strange creature, thought it must’ve been a lemur, and used a towel to pick the animal up and put it in her vehicle,” the post read.

Although an endangered wild animal, some states allow the lemur to be kept as a pet, with an estimated 15,000 primates kept as pets nationwide.

There are several species of lemur out there and one of them does indeed have a long black and white ringed tail — very much like a ringtail.

Indeed, the ‘lemur’ was actually a ringtail, which Miss U learned after being forced out of her car by the injured animal’s antics and calling 3-1-1 for assistance.

The responding animal control officer properly identified the injured animal and took it to the Animal Emergency Room for treatment.

It has since been transported to the nonprofit Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation, Inc. for further care before being released again into the wild.

Native to San Antonio, ringtails are members of the raccoon family and look like a cross between a cat and a fox with a long ringed tail.

They are talented climbers and build dens in rock crevices and hollow trees, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife. At night, they hunt birds, reptiles, rodents, insects, and amphibians, as well as forage for fruits and berries.

Since they are nocturnal, spotting them is rare.

In Miss U’s defense, even wildlife experts can find themselves unclear about species sometimes.

As The Dallas Express reported in February, a pup named Toast was found huddled near a dumpster by Dallas police. Yet it was unclear to city animal services whether Toast was a coyote or a dog.

A DNA test later revealed that Toast was not, in fact, a wild animal but rather a mix of German Shepherd, Siberian Husky, and Australian Cattle Dog. This meant she could be safely put up for adoption, and, according to her page on Dallas Animal Services, she was!

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