UPDATE: Two emperor tamarin monkeys which have been missing from the Dallas Zoo since Monday were found alive in an abandoned Dallas-area home on Tuesday, officials said.
The monkeys were found in a closet of the abandoned home after Dallas police received a tip about their location.
Dallas Police, with the help of the Lancaster Police Department, located the two missing tamarin monkeys from the Dallas Zoo at an abandoned home in Lancaster.
Pictured is one of the animals still inside the closet of the house.
The monkeys have been returned to the zoo. pic.twitter.com/vfWj7aAt3T
— Dallas Police Dept (@DallasPD) February 1, 2023
“We are thrilled beyond belief to share that our two emperor tamarin monkeys have been found,” the zoo tweeted Tuesday evening. “They will be evaluated by our veterinarians this evening.”
We are thrilled beyond belief to share that our two emperor tamarin monkeys have been found. DPD located the animals early this evening, and called our team to come secure and transport the tamarins back to the Zoo. They will be evaluated by our veterinarians this evening. pic.twitter.com/bDd49d3uDc
— Dallas Zoo (@DallasZoo) February 1, 2023
Earlier on Tuesday, before the monkeys were found, Dallas police released surveillance video and a photo of a man they wish to speak to regarding the mysterious incidents that have recently plagued the Dallas Zoo.
Police have not elaborated on why they want to speak to the man.
Dallas Police are looking for the public’s help in identifying the pictured individual. Detectives are looking to speak with the man in regard to the two tamarin monkeys missing from the Dallas Zoo.
Anyone with information- call 214-671-4509. pic.twitter.com/VVvvHFAdgJ
— Dallas Police Dept (@DallasPD) January 31, 2023
ORIGINAL STORY: The Dallas Zoo has played host to a series of mysterious incidents over the past month, including tampered enclosures, an escaped leopard, the suspicious death of an endangered vulture, and now, most recently, two missing emperor tamarin monkeys.
Police were alerted about the missing tamarins on Monday after their zookeepers found them gone with a hole cut into their enclosure. Zoo staff believe the monkeys were stolen because their enclosure was “intentionally compromised,” and this species is known to “stay close to home,” yet they were nowhere on zoo grounds.
According to the zoo, the Dallas Police Department has reason to believe the monkeys were swiped after a preliminary assessment.
Emperor tamarin monkeys would likely stay close to home – the Zoo searched near their habitat and across Zoo grounds, and did not locate them. Based on the Dallas Police Department’s initial assessment, they have reason to believe the tamarins were taken.
— Dallas Zoo (@DallasZoo) January 30, 2023
The missing monkeys are just the latest in a recent string of suspicious events. Last week, a 35-year-old endangered lappet-faced vulture named Pin died after suffering from an “unusual wound.”
Zoo staff described the bird’s death as “devastating” not just for those who cared for him, but “also to the conservation efforts of this species.” There are only about 6,500 lappet-faced vultures left on Earth.
Results from Pin’s necropsy report deemed the death “very suspicious,” the BBC reported. The Dallas Zoo is offering a US$10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest for the vulture’s death.
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
On Jan. 13, a four-year-old leopard named Nova was able to escape after its enclosure appeared to have been intentionally cut open, prompting a “code blue” alert at the zoo. The big cat was later found wandering the grounds and returned home safely.
That same day, zoo staff discovered that another enclosure had been tampered with. A hole was found cut in an enclosure of langur monkeys, though none of them escaped.
Dallas police have refused to say if the incidents are connected. No arrests have been made so far.
Since the occurrences began, the zoo has bolstered its security by adding extra cameras and increasing night patrols.
The Dallas Zoo houses more than 2,000 animals and is the oldest and largest zoo in Texas.
Ed Hansen, chief executive of the American Association of Zoo Keepers, said it appears that someone “really has an issue with the Dallas Zoo,” despite its “excellent” reputation.
© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.