The Dallas Police Department is investigating another missing animal case at the Dallas Zoo.
This time, zoo officials said that two emperor tamarin monkeys are missing from their enclosure and that their habitat was “compromised.”
The Dallas Zoo was closed due to bad weather when the monkeys were reported missing around 7 a.m., The Washington Post reported.
On Monday morning (January 30), Dallas Zoo alerted the Dallas Police Department after the animal care team discovered two of our emperor tamarin monkeys were missing. It was clear the habitat had been intentionally compromised. pic.twitter.com/NzBhIh7xS3— Dallas Zoo (@DallasZoo) January 30, 2023
Emperor tamarin monkeys are native to the southwest Amazon area and have long hair that looks like a mustache, according to the Smithsonian National Zoo and The New York Times. They have a 10- to 20-year lifespan and live in extended family groups of between two and eight monkeys.
Officials said the monkeys would typically stay close to their home, KXAS reported.
Zoo workers searched near their habitat and on the zoo grounds, and the two monkeys were not found. Dallas police believe they were stolen.
This is the latest incident at the zoo in recent weeks.
On Jan. 13, a clouded leopard named Nova disappeared from her enclosure. Zoo officials closed the zoo as they searched for her. They found that the fence around her habitat was intentionally cut, police said. Nova was found near her enclosure later the same day, CNN reported.
We are thrilled to report we located clouded leopard Nova on-grounds at the Zoo this afternoon at approximated 4:40 p.m. She was located very near the original habitat, and teams were able to safely secure her just before 5:15 p.m. pic.twitter.com/XucvBrQO4V— Dallas Zoo (@DallasZoo) January 13, 2023
Another animal enclosure was found cut the same day, but none of the langur monkeys inside had escaped. Police said that it was “unknown if the two incidents are related,” CNN reported.
Despite adding cameras and overnight staffing and security, less than two weeks later, a lappet-faced vulture named Pin was found dead in his habitat. The death was called suspicious since the bird had “an unusual wound and injuries.” It was determined that Pin did not die from natural causes.
Lappet-faced vultures are endangered with only 6,500 left worldwide, the Post reported.
We're so grateful for the support we've received as we comprehend the unexpected loss of our 35-year-old lappet-faced vulture, Pin. Losing him is devastating not only to our Zoo family but also to the conservation efforts of this species. Pin will be missed dearly by everyone. pic.twitter.com/TJEQnT0MG1— Dallas Zoo (@DallasZoo) January 24, 2023
Before the latest incident, zoo officials said they would “continue to expand and implement even more safety and security measures, to whatever extent is needed, to keep animals and staff safe,” The Washington Post reported.
The zoo has more than 2,000 animals from 400 species, The New York Times reported.
Police are not sure if all the incidents are connected and all are still under investigation, the newspaper reported.
No arrests have been made in any of the incidents, The Associated Press reported.
The chief executive of the American Association of Zoo Keepers said he cannot remember a zoo having several incidents in a short period of time.
“It appears that somebody really has an issue with the Dallas Zoo,” Hansen told the AP.
He said that the zoo has an excellent reputation.
If someone is trying to free the animals, they may be misguided, Ron Magill, a zookeeper and communications director at Zoo Miami, told the Post.
“Anybody who thinks they might be helping an animal by releasing it from whatever habitat it was at in the Dallas Zoo is sadly mistaken,” Magill told the newspaper.
©2022 Cox Media Group