Two monkeys reported missing from the Dallas Zoo on Monday have been located, the zoo said.
According to Dallas police, they received a tip that led them to the location of two emperor tamarin monkeys. They proceeded to the abandoned house in Lancaster, Texas (near south of Dallas) and found the monkeys hiding in a closet, according to the police.
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
“We are thrilled beyond belief to share that our two emperor tamarin monkeys have been found,” zoo officials said in a statement. “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.”
Additionally, Dallas Police will release information regarding the recovery on Wednesday, while the zoo will release additional information the following day.
There has been no arrest.
A nearby church that had intended to utilize the facility as a youth center claimed that the structure where the monkeys were discovered had been broken into and inhabited by wild animals.
On Tuesday, Dallas police released an image of a guy they say they want to interview in connection with the investigation. Police want to question him “in relation to the two tamarin monkeys missing from the Dallas Zoo,” but gave no further context.
“We reached out to authorities saying that we thought we knew who the person was and how we have had recent break-ins at our youth center that we’ve been trying to get going for the community,” said Tanya, the daughter of the church’s pastor who wished to be identified by her first name.
“Someone has gotten back in there and destroyed it even further,” she said. “So that’s setting us back even further as far as getting the facility up and going. But it was really a shock to see that those precious, you know, animals were in there.”
As reported by a representative of the Family Center church, the congregation is collaborating with law enforcement in order to track down those responsible.
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“The intruder not only caused significant damage to the youth center’s facilities but also put the safety of both the animals and the community at risk. Despite the setback, the church remains committed to its mission of providing support and resources to those in need and is working closely with local authorities to ensure that the culprit is brought to justice,” the spokesman said.
The clouded leopard, Nova, fled from her enclosure when police discovered it had been maliciously cut, the fourth strange event at the zoo since the new year began. The next day, zoo employees discovered an identical purposeful cut on the enclosure housing langur monkeys; all of the monkeys were accounted for, and Dallas police launched a criminal inquiry.
The zoo recently discovered the body of a critically endangered vulture with an “unusual wound.” It was then reported that Dallas police were looking into the incident because they believed it was suspicious.