Police believe two monkeys were taken from their enclosure at the Dallas Zoo on Monday morning.
Zoo spokeswoman Kari Streiber said when staff discovered two emperor tamarin monkeys were missing, it was immediately “clear the habitat had been intentionally compromised.” According to police, the habitat had been cut.
Streiber said since the monkeys, which are expected to “stay close to home,” were still unaccounted for as of 3:50 pm, police “have reason to believe the tamarins were taken.”
The zoo was closed Monday due to inclement weather, and isn’t expected to reopen until Thursday.
No additional information was immediately available.
The investigation comes after an unprecedented string of events at the Dallas Zoo, including another missing animal, additional torn enclosures and an unusual death.
On Jan. 13, a 4-year-old clouded leopard named Nova had a day of social media fame when the zoo announced she had escaped from her enclosure. After search involving infrared drones, a “code blue” and Dallas police’s SWAT team, she was found on-site and unharmed.
The day after Nova escaped, officials revealed a similar cut was found on the langur monkeys’ enclosure, but said all of the langurs were in their habitat and accounted for.
About a week after the habitat vandalisms, a 35-year-old endangered vulture was found dead, and zoo staff quickly deemed the cause “unusual.” The bird, named Pin, was one of four lappet-faced vultures at the zoo. He had been at the Dallas Zoo for 33 years.
At first, officials only said that Pin’s death did not appear to be from natural causes, but after the zoo’s veterinary team conducted a necropsy — or an animal autopsy — they said the bird was found with a “wound.”
The Dallas Zoo is offering a $10,000 reward to anyone who provides information, on any of the cases, that leads to an arrest and indictment.
If you have a tip, call the Dallas Police Department’s animal cruelty unit at 214-670-7694.