Dallas Zoo says tamarin monkeys that went missing for a day are healthy and uninjured



CNN

An emperor tamarin monkey that went missing from the Dallas Zoo earlier this week but was found by police Tuesday in an abandoned house is safe and unharmed, the zoo said.

“Bella and Finn, the emperor tamarin monkeys, were so happy to be tucked into their nest at the zoo yesterday!” The zoo announced this on Facebook. “Apart from some weight loss, our veterinary and animal care teams have confirmed that there are no signs of injury and the team started eating and drinking almost immediately after completing their health checks on Tuesday evening.”

The zoo said the monkeys will undergo a period of quarantine before being returned to their zoo habitats.

Surveillance video “appears to have been instrumental in generating the tip that led to the recovery of the tamarins,” the zoo also released Tuesday. There is also a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the person responsible, the zoo said.

The health update comes two days after the zoo said two tamarin monkeys were missing and their habitat had been “deliberately disturbed”. Dallas police said they had reason to believe the monkeys had been taken, the zoo said.

The disappearance follows a series of suspicious incidents involving leopards, langur monkeys and hawks at the zoo over the past month, all of which have prompted heightened security.

Following a tip, the missing tamarin monkeys were found Tuesday inside a closet in an abandoned house in Lancaster, 15 miles from the zoo. Police took out a photo Above one monkey in the closet, something that looks like fencing.

“We are very excited to say that our two emperor tamarin monkeys have been found,” the Dallas Zoo said Tuesday evening. “They will be assessed by our vets this evening.”

Elsewhere, a Louisiana zoo reported 12 squirrel monkeys stolen over the weekend.

The Dallas Zoo learned Monday that a blessing of emperor tamarin monkeys has gone missing from its sanctuary.

Dallas police concluded that the monkey habitat was intentionally opened and “the animals are believed to have been taken intentionally,” they said.

The zoo was closed Monday due to inclement weather, and as previously announced, the closure was extended through Wednesday due to the ice storm.

How the animals left the zoo and ended up in an abandoned house in Lancaster is still a mystery.

On Tuesday, police released surveillance video and a photograph of an unknown person they said they were looking for and wanted to interview. Police did not say why they wanted to speak to him or when the footage was recorded, and asked the public to call 214-671-4509 with any information.

Dallas police are asking for the public's help in identifying the man.

In surveillance video, a man can be seen pacing back and forth along the zoo’s mostly empty sidewalk. Another person can be seen walking in the opposite direction in the background.

The photo show A man wearing a blue hoodie and a navy and red beanie while eating a bag of Doritos.

In recent weeks, there have been several other strange animal incidents at the Dallas Zoo.

A clouded leopard named Nova went missing on January 13 and the zoo was closed to search for the animal.

They said the police opened a criminal case after discovering that the fence around Nova’s yard had been “deliberately cut”. That day, Nova was found at her residence.

Meanwhile, zoo staff observed similar cuts among some langur monkeys, but none escaped, the zoo said.

Police did not immediately determine if the two incidents were related.

The incidents have prompted the zoo to beef up security, including installing additional cameras and increasing the number of night security officers and staff, said its president and CEO Gregg Hudson. Restrictions have also been imposed on animals going out at night, he added.

Then, on January 21, a vulture named Pin was found dead in its habitat. “The circumstances of the deaths are unusual and the deaths do not appear to be due to natural causes,” the zoo said in a statement.

The bird’s death was “suspicious” and it suffered “unusual lacerations and injuries,” Hudson said.

The zoo is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and charges of the suspect in the hawk’s death.

While the events at the Dallas Zoo and the ape abduction at Zoosiana in Broussard, Louisiana have raised public safety concerns, at least one Florida zoo is not stepping up security.

“There are several security measures at Zoo Miami” already in place, and there’s only so much that can be done, said Ron Magill, a wildlife specialist and Zoo Miami spokesman.

“If someone wants in and is determined,” he told CNN, “they will find a way.”



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