One night in midsummer of 2008, the Boston Red Sox senior adviser, Bill James, was walking home from Fenway Park. The crowds were gone, and he was alone on the street.
The moon was full, illuminating the area fairly brightly. James noticed an animal that, at first glance, he took to be a cat.
He immediately changed his mind when he noticed the creature had huges eyes on the sides of its speckled gray head. it also had a puglike face, a very long tail "like a broom handle," and moved in an "odd sashaying motion."
James stared at the animal for "probably six or seven times as long as the period that a fly ball is in the air," before it scuttled under a car parked by the road. At one point, it seemed to "lift its hind legs over a stick in the road by using its tail as a kind of lever."
As James continued to walk home, he thought about all the animals native to the area, but came up with nothing local. He finally decided it had to have been a lemur.
Knowing full well that lemurs are primates native to Madagascar, and not to be found in the Boston area, he surmised that perhaps it was a zoo escapee. Against the advice of his wife (who was concerned about his reputation), James called the local animal control center.
He was informed that his was the first lemur sighting reported in the Boston area. All four lemurs in the local zoo were found to be present and accounted for.
There had been a previous lemur sighting 20 miles southwest of Boston on a rainy day in March 2002. On a farm in Sherborn, a "strange lemur-like dog" that looked like a smaller, "skinnier version of a Tasmanian wolf" was sighted by filmmaker Andrew Mudge.
Mudge was visiting his parents' horse farm in the rural area. Next to the farmhouse was an old, unused, junk-filled barn. Mudge walked out of the house and saw an odd creature hopping out of a hole in the door of the barn, heading toward the woods.
Mudge had grown up in the area, hiking all over the wilderness through his childhood years. He is very familiar with all the wildlife around there. He had never seen anything like this creature before.
It was the size of a small coyote but looked like a combination of a lemur and a fox. It had a very long, hairless tail, except for a ball of hair at the end. The fur and face of the creature reminded Mudge of a lemur, with which he does have some experience.
Mudge has a degree in anthropology and studied lemurs in college. The creature he saw at his parents' farm had a faint striped pattern on its back, and the little beast had short ears and a long face.
Mudge followed the odd creature for a short time into the woods. It didn't appear to try very hard to get away from Mudge, but it didn't let him get too close either.
As the night darkened, and visibility diminished, Mudge returned home.Mudge's father did get a glance at the creature when Mudge first saw it, and hollered to him, but not a close enough or long enough look to be able to describe it.
Bill James theorizes that the lemur could possibly have migrated in the few years between the Sherborn and Boston sightings.