Two monkeys were removed from the Dallas Zoo on Monday, police said. This is the latest in a series of strange incidents at the attraction under investigation.
No arrests were made in either investigation, and police did not say if the incidents were related.
Dallas police said they believe someone cut an opening in the enclosure and took two emperor tamarin monkeys, small primates with mustache-like whiskers.
“It was clear that the habitat was intentionally compromised,” the zoo said in a statement, giving few other details.
The incident follows the closure of the zoo on January 13 and a one-day search for a clouded leopard named Nova who went missing.
She was eventually found near her habitat, but police said a tool was used to cut an opening in the fence. but couldn’t get out.
On January 21, an endangered vulture named Ping was found dead, and the zoo said the death did not appear to be natural. Greg Hudson, president and CEO of the zoo, said the vultures have “wounds.”
Ed Hansen, chief executive of the American Association of Zookeepers, said he can’t remember a zoo facing similar incidents so often.
“Someone seems to have a real problem with the Dallas Zoo,” said Hansen.
Describing the Dallas Zoo’s reputation within the industry as “excellent,” Hansen said accredited zoos would have double perimeter fencing and zoos as large as Dallas would have security patrols. rice field.
The zoo says it has added additional cameras and increased security patrols at night.
The zoo said Monday that the two missing emperor tamarin monkeys were most likely staying close to their habitat, but they weren’t found after a search of the zoo’s grounds.
Animals have previously escaped enclosures from the Dallas Zoo. Most notably, his 340-pound (154-kilogram) gorilla named Jabari jumped over a wall in 2004, injuring three of him before police shot the animal dead. It was a rampage.
Weber contributed to this report from Austin, Texas.