When Lemurs Attack: East Texas Edition

A lemur named Keanu attacked a postal worker named Marla Reeves as she drove her rural route outside of Grapeland.
Wed December 12, 2012 2:53 am
Flickr | nh53

Just when the world seemed to have exhausted its possibility for strange coincidences, news emerged that a ring-tailed lemur named Keanu attacked an East Texas postal carrier with the last name of  Reeves last week.

According to KTRE’s Michelle Reed, the lemur encounter occurred on December 4 when Marla Reeves was delivering mail on County Road 2345 outside of Grapeland. She was stopped at a mailbox when Keanu “jumped into her vehicle, bit her hand and arm and then jumped out.”

Reeves sustained claw and bite marks to her arm. The lemur’s owner cornered her pet in a shed. The ring tailed lemur, a small primate native to Madagascar, will be quarantined for 30 days and observed for signs of rabies, according to Sheriff Darrell Bobbitt.

Reeves and Keanu had met once before. “Reeves said this is her second encounter with the lemur. The first happened a few weeks ago, when she was delivering mail and saw it race across a fence. She said she rolled her window up and the lemur jumped on her car,” Reed reported.

The lemur’s owner, Tammie Baughman, told Reed in a teary follow-up interview that she was “devastated” that her beloved pet has been taken away from her.

How did these events unfold, according to Baughman?

Baughman says she forgot to lock the door to Keanu’s bedroom, and when she looked away he ran towards Marla Reeves car, jumped in, and bit her… .

Minutes later, Baughman and her 26-year-old daughter, Becca, were faced with the reality that Keanu was being taken away by deputies.

“Oh I was heartbroken, devastated,” Baughman said. “It’s like someone taking away your child, but worse because you can tell your child because he may understand some of it. Keanu, I knew wouldn’t understand any of it.”

Baughman is unhappy that Keanu is being held in a four-by-four, two-foot high cage. “I cannot touch him,” Baughman said. “I can’t hold him. I can’t take him out of the pen. I have to be supervised with his visit.”

Baughman said she hopes Keanu will be transferred to a wildlife refuge to serve out his quarantine and then be allowed to return home.

KEYE’s story took the opportunity to suggest that perhaps the Postal Service’s unofficial creed should be updated. “It’s said that neither rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of night stops the U.S. mail. And apparently not lemurs either.”

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