Dallas Zoo’s missing tamarin monkeys have been found in a closet, and investigators still want to find a certain man, police say


Two emperor tamarin monkeys missing since Monday from the Dallas Zoo were found alive Tuesday in the closet of an abandoned Dallas-area home, officials said, and police say they are still trying to speak with a man in connection with the case.

The recovery of monkeys – after officials said the animals were believed to have been stolen – is just the latest in a string of suspicious incidents this month at the zoo, including what it said were “unusual” circumstances ” regarding the death of a vulture last week. .

About the monkeys: Investigators found them after receiving a tip that they might be in an abandoned house in Lancaster, a city 15 miles south of the zoo, Dallas police said.

“Dallas police, with Lancaster police, went to the house and the house was empty, and the monkeys were found in a closet,” Dallas police told CNN.

The two emperor tamarin monkeys are believed to have been stolen after they were found missing from their enclosure on Monday, the zoo said. Dallas police said their initial investigation found the monkey’s habitat had been intentionally cut open and “it is believed the animals were taken from the enclosure on purpose.”

“We are very happy to say that our two emperor tamarin monkeys have been found,” the zoo said Tuesday afternoon. “Our vets will assess them this afternoon.”

Dallas police tweeted a photo of one of the monkeys inside the closet, located on top of what appeared to be some fence that was also inside. Police have not said how the monkeys got into the home, and no arrests have been made.

Dallas police asked for the public's help in identifying this person.

Earlier Tuesday — before announcing the monkeys’ discovery — Dallas police released surveillance video and photo an unknown man they wanted to talk to about the case.

Investigators are still trying to speak with that man, Dallas police spokeswoman Kristin Lowman told CNN Tuesday night.

Police have not elaborated on why they want to speak to the man, or when the video and image were taken.

In the surveillance video, the man can be seen walking slowly down a path in an almost empty zoo, looking back and forth as he moves. A second person can also be seen in the background, but that person walks in the opposite direction.

In the still image, the man is wearing a navy blue hoodie and navy blue beanie and red cap and is eating a bag of Doritos.

The zoo was closed for Monday due to bad weather. The closure was later extended to Wednesday due to an ice storm affecting the area, the zoo said.

This is the fourth time this month the zoo has had its animals found or their enclosures may have been tampered with, including “unusual” circumstances surrounding the death of a vulture last week, according to the zoo.

The series of events began on January 13 when a clouded leopard named Nova went missing, prompting the zoo to close while they searched for the animal. Dallas police opened a criminal investigation after it was discovered that the fence surrounding Nova’s enclosure had been “deliberately cut,” police said.

Although the penguin was found close to its habitat later that day, zoo personnel also discovered that a similar cut had been made in the enclosure of several langur monkeys. Despite the new escape route, none of the monkeys left their habitat, the zoo said. Police said at the time that it was “not known if the two incidents are related.”

After the incidents, the zoo installed additional security cameras, more than doubled its overnight security personnel, increased its overnight staff, and began restricting some animals’ ability to go outside overnight, said the President and the CEO Gregg Hudson.

But less than two weeks after the first discovery, a vulture named Pin was found dead in its habitat. Hudson called the bird’s death “suspicious” and said “unusual wounds and injuries” indicated that Pin did not die of natural causes.

The zoo is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the indictment of a suspect in the vulture’s death.

Dallas police are investigating all four incidents. A spokesman said last week that the department is cooperating with US Fish and Wildlife on the investigations.


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