Maki, a 21-year old ring-tailed lemur was stolen from San Francisco Zoo on 14th October 2020 and found in a child’s playground two days later. I connected in with Maki when I heard the news but did not start a deep conversation there and then, sensing that he needed some time to rest and recuperate, then a couple of nights later, Maki appeared in one of my dreams.

I was travelling with a friend a long way from home and we had suitcases that we were wheeling down the road. We went down through an underpass and we were in a place with lots of concrete and low roofs. It was like a train station with stairs and ramps all over the place. There was a small patch of grass and a few trees some distance away and we headed over to it. I saw an animal on the grass. I thought it was a cat at first but he was so big. He rushed over and jumped up and put his arms around me and held on. He was heavy and his fur was so fine and soft; extremely delicate. His tail was huge and also amazingly soft, it was pointing straight down and out. I looked into his big (unmistakable) eyes and what they were telling me. […]

We started walking across the park and he told me that he would like to climb a tree, it was a eucalyptus and he clung onto the bark the way that he had clung onto me. I could see that this wasn’t working out very well so I took him back again and we moved on.

We found an office and walked in, there were people milling about but they didn’t seem to be too concerned about us or our companion. There were lots of papers in the office and somebody was putting newspaper clippings into a plastic folder, these had Maki in them. Other people were flipping through newspapers and talking about Maki. It was somebody’s birthday party and Maki was there in the middle of it all, moving from one person to the next.

I started to worry that he hadn’t eaten for a long time, so we moved outside again and he started to climb up a tree and eat its leaves for a while and then he came back down again. I found a door that I knew had never been opened before and we walked into it, Maki went over to a tree that was growing inside the room, it was curved like a Banyan and climbed up to the very top of it. In front of the tree there was a stand with a hammock on it and in front of the hammock there was a TV screen. I noticed that there were small animals creeping around the room; mice, hamsters and a kind of exotic squirrel that I did not know the name of. The small creatures had nests and someone had put a pile of peanuts down for them to eat. These animals were very happy to scamper around and go along the same runs that they had used time and time again. There was a hole in the door so that the little animals could move outside if they wanted to. As I looked closer at this room, I realised it was in a courtyard space and was neither part of a larger building or separate from one; it was outside but at the same time covered over by a larger construction. In the corner there was another enclosure which I understood could have held ground dwelling birds or reptiles; it was empty, however.

Maki was very contented at this time at the top of the curved Banyan tree and started to eat some fruit that he had found up there. This is where I left him.

A few days later, I connected in with Maki again to ask how he was and to chat with him about what had happened:

“I am not very happy about this, I would say that I am verging on grumpy, I want my time to sleep and to be quiet. Why did I have to be disturbed? I am settled in my life now and not wanting any more adventures. I am very happy to be in my retirement and stay in one place. No more action or surprises thank you! I have been feeling dry and deflated since I was back. I knew exactly what was happening. If this had been done some time ago then I would have been the one wanting to escape! I was a bandit myself back then. A few years ago it may have been me doing the robbery. I was ready to run. Not now.

I am settling back in again but I am very tired, I did not sleep for a couple of nights, everything was strange around me, I am used to my own patch. As long as I have my routine and I know who is coming to feed me and care for me then I am OK. The sun is setting. Maybe I was mistaken for another lemur? He didn’t have much fun with me, I didn’t want to do as I was told. If he had taken another younger one, then he would have had much more fun.

I don’t want you to share all the details of your dream. Some things must remain secret. I am ok now. I am on show, I know that, I have never been such a cause for concern before and that overwhelms me, so I do not want to draw even more attention to myself. People of my age do not need to talk about themselves. They also do not need fame in their lives. I just want my familiar spaces and my girls to keep me company.

I batted him off when he came for me and I showed him that I was very angry to be dragged around, especially at night and I was not quiet either. He had a very strange smell to him, and he made my fur bedraggled. I think that this information needs to be spoken in a court of law. I sleep a lot now to recover because I did not sleep for many nights when I was outside. I sit and doze, people think I am awake but I am actually asleep. The world is different out there. I thought I might be interested in seeing what was out there but I wasn’t. It wasn’t that special. I knew that people would find me but I still was not sure what they would do with me when they did find me. I am back here now. That is good.

Go off and do your thing now and leave me in peace. If I need to testify in a court of law I will, all they have to do is ask. Men like that should not upset old people like me. And somebody tell him that if he was going to keep me, I couldn’t survive on ice cream alone. I do not want to be disturbed any more, I want to live life in peace and with my familiar routine and my girls. I need them to be safe too. That is all that matters to me, not fame and fortune. My energies have been sent haywire and I need to realign with the places I know best. Here.”

I will leave you in peace! And I will make sure that I fulfil your request and not post the parts of my dream that you feel are sensitive and may upset you. Thank you Maki for your engagement with me and I appreciate the time you have spent communicating with me today x

I am very interested in the fact that Maki knows about courts of law and is willing to testify against his abductor. He understands that he is the prime witness and also realises the importance of not divulging the information at this time. Wouldn’t it be useful if animals could appear in court? Think of the people (and companies) who commit wildlife, environmental and domestic crimes against animals who would be convicted if the animals themselves (represented by animal communicators) could testify. I would love to see Maki give his version of events to the court but only if it doesn’t put him under too much addition stress.

Maki photo: @SFZoo