By Lauren Dulatre
Two Emperor Tamarin monkeys have been reported missing from Dallas Zoo in Texas and were recently found in a closet from an abandoned Dallas-area home on January 31, 2023. The monkeys were able to be found when someone gave the officials a claim that they might be in a home in the Lancaster area. Officials have said that the animals have been reported to be stolen, and are believed to be a part of the ‘suspicious and unusual events’ that happened in the zoo. Such as the sudden passing of the zoo’s vulture, multiple animals escaping their enclosures, and animals gone missing.
“It was believed the animals were intentionally taken from the enclosure,” said officials. The Dallas Police then posted a picture of the two monkeys in the closet that seem to be on top of fencing on Twitter. They have not revealed details of how the monkeys were able to get in the home and no arrests have been made.
Before the monkeys had been found, police had revealed photos and a video showing an unidentified man that they wanted to speak to. Police have not explained why they want to talk to the man or when they have taken the photos and video, but they have revealed through surveillance why they have done so. In the surveillance, it is shown that the man was walking through an empty sidewalk, checking his surroundings while doing so and it also shows a second man in the background walking in the opposite direction.
This was the fourth incident involving enclosures in the zoo being tampered with in January. Reports of animals escaping their enclosures started on January 13, when a leopard was reported missing. When the leopard was found and returned to their enclosure, a criminal investigation was opened when the fence of the enclosure was found to be ‘intentionally cut’, said an official.
After these events, Dallas Zoo has implemented more security cameras and measures to make sure it does not happen again. These measures include overnight security personnel, overnight staffing, and strict limitations on animals going outside into their enclosures overnight.
Dallas police are currently investigating all four incidents, and a spokesperson for the department said that the department has been collaborating with US Fish and Wildlife on the investigations.