monkeys from the Texas Zoo in Dallas; last suspicious event


DALLAS — Two monkeys were taken from the Dallas Zoo on Monday, police said, the latest in a series of strange incidents at the attraction being investigated — including the cutting of fences and the suspected death of an endangered vulture in recent weeks .

No arrests were made in any of the investigations, and police have not said whether the incidents are linked.

Dallas police said they believe someone cut an opening in an enclosure and took away two emperor tamarin monkeys, small primates with long whiskers that look like a mustache.

“It was clear that the habitat had been deliberately compromised,” the zoo said in a statement that provided few other details.

The incident follows the January 13 closure of the zoo and a days-long search when a clouded leopard named Nova went missing.

This photo provided by the Dallas Zoo shows an emperor monkey living at the zoo.

She was eventually found near her habitat, but police said a tool was used to cut an opening in the fence. A similar wound was also found in a langur monkey enclosure, although none came out.

On January 21, an endangered vulture named Pin was found dead, and the zoo said the death did not appear to be natural. The zoo’s president and CEO, Gregg Hudson, said the vulture had “a wound.”

Ed Hansen, executive director of the American Association of Zoo Keepers, said he couldn’t remember a zoo that has faced similar incidents so frequently.

“It seems someone really has a problem with the Dallas Zoo,” Hansen said.

Hansen, who described the Dallas Zoo’s reputation within the industry as “excellent,” said accredited zoos have double fencing, and a zoo as large as Dallas would have a security patrol.

The zoo has said it has added extra cameras and increased overnight security patrols.

The zoo said on Monday that the two missing emperor tamarin monkeys would most likely stay close to their habitat – but that a search around the zoo grounds could not find them.

Animals have escaped from exhibits at the Dallas Zoo before. Notably, a 340-pound (154-kilogram) gorilla named Jabari jumped over a wall in 2004 and rampaged for 40 minutes, injuring three people before police shot the animal.

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