Houston Co. woman defends lemur

Published: Dec. 7, 2012 at 10:27 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 7, 2012 at 10:57 PM CST
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HOUSTON COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Tears streamed down Tammie Baughman's face as she recalled the evening when her pet lemur, Keanu, bit a local mail carrier. It was a moment that broke her heart.

"And he, I feel defended himself not that I think she did anything wrong intentionally no," Baughman said. "Because I think she was defending herself because she thought he was going to hurt her."

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.

"I told her, 'Please run down the window so I can see it,'" Baughman said. "I was afraid that she had a vein cut. I wanted to see it, so I could see if it was a vein that needed pressure."

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 says she is trying to convince the sheriff to transfer him to a wild refuge nearby.

Keanu is being held in a four-by-four, two-foot high cage. A living situation Tammie does not agree with.

"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 says she understands Keanu has wild instincts but doesn't think of him as a primate. He's a family member.

"As much as I love him I do know and accept that he is an animal," Baughman said.

Baughman says she just wants people to understand that if he is returned to her care. She will take every precaution to keep him contained.

"I understand that we are all human," Baughman said. "There's not a human out here that doesn't make a mistake at one time or another."

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