In latest incident at Dallas Zoo, two monkeys feared stolen
Two emperor tamarin monkeys have gone missing from Dallas Zoo in Texas, with police fearing theft in the latest of a string of bizarre animal incidents at the attraction.
Zoo authorities called police after finding two of the monkeys were missing on Monday.
Dallas police said a cut was made to the monkey habitat “and it is believed the animals were intentionally taken from the enclosure.”
On Tuesday, police issued a photo of a man in a hoodie who may be linked to the monkeys’ disappearance, and asked the public for help in identifying him.
It marked the second time that animals have vanished from the facility in recent weeks. The zoo closed on January 13 after keepers discovered a breach in the enclosure of a clouded leopard.
The missing big cat was eventually found near her habitat and had not left the zoo grounds.
A little more than a week later, the zoo reported that an endangered lappet-faced vulture was found dead from a wound, and the “circumstances of the death are unusual.”
In the latest incident, the zoo said employees searched near the monkey habitat and across zoo grounds but did not find the emperor tamarins, which “would likely stay close to home.”
“Based on the Dallas Police Department’s initial assessment, they have reason to believe the tamarins were taken,” the zoo statement said.
“This is an active Dallas Police Department investigation. This is all the information we are able to share at this time.”
After the vulture was found dead, the zoo – the oldest and largest in Texas – added additional cameras and increased overnight security patrols.
This handout photo from the Dallas Zoo shows Pin, a 35-year-old endangered vulture that was found dead earlier this month
Emperor tamarins are small monkeys with long white whiskers that sweep back from its face, and are so named for their likeness to the late German emperor Wilhelm II. The monkeys are native to the southwest Amazon basin.
The incidents have raised alarms at zoos across the country, fearful of copycat crimes.
A Louisiana facility, Zoosiana, reported Monday that 12 squirrel monkeys were stolen from their habitat after intruders broke in over the weekend.