Dallas, TX

Are the Suspicious Incidents At Dallas Zoo a Cause For Concern?


The start of 2023 was not smooth for all of us, but the Dallas Zoo authorities and the local police department found it exceptionally weird. Things have gotten strange at the Dallas Zoo in only one month, including the not-so-natural deaths of animals and the disappearance of many more. Here is a chronological account of all the events that have happened to the Dallas Zoo during the New Year.

13 January: A Leopard Goes Missing

On the morning of January 13, it was discovered that a clouded leopard named Nova had gone missing. The administrators at the Dallas Zoo reported that Nova could not be seen in her enclosure, which prompted a search that lasted for many hours. The leopard was discovered safe and well later that evening at the zoo, not too far from where it had been housed. Authorities from the Dallas Police Department stated that a "suspicious" tear had been found in Nova's enclosure. They thought the tear was the product of an "intentional act" using a cutting instrument.

According to Sergeant Warren Mitchell, a criminal inquiry was initiated. After the event, the zoo's facilities received increased cameras and additional security patrols.

14 January: an Unusual Cut Found Langur Monkey’s Home

On the following day, on Jan 14, zoo authorities were said to have discovered a similar cut in the netting at the enclosure housing the langur monkeys. To great relief, none of the monkeys were missing after all. It was also an intentional act, according to the local police.

23 January: a Vulture Dies

Around a week after Nova broke free of her confinement at the Dallas Zoo, the zoo released a statement saying that Pin, an endangered vulture who belonged to the zoo, was discovered dead in his enclosure. Very little information was disclosed regarding the unexpected passing of the 35-year-old vulture. Pin, a lappet-faced vulture, had been a zoo resident for the last 33 years and shared his habitat with three other birds.

The zoo staff reported that the probable cause is not natural circumstances, and the death is uncommon. The Dallas Police Department has taken the initiative to investigate the situation.

30 January: Emperor Tamarin Monkeys Disappear

According to information provided by the Dallas Zoo, on the morning of January 30, it was found that a couple of emperor tamarin monkeys had gone missing. "Emperor tamarin monkeys would likely stay close to home — the Zoo searched near their habitat and across Zoo grounds and did not locate them. Based on the Dallas Police Department's initial assessment, they have reason to believe the tamarins were taken," the zoo staff explained the situation.

Just like a cut in the habitats and enclosures of other animals, the authorities also found a stake in the habitat of the monkeys. This one seemed to be intentional, too. It is believed that the monkeys might be taken forcefully from the zoo as the habitat is not in its usual condition either. However, nothing can be said about the disappearance as of yet.

31 January: the Monkeys found Again​

On 31 Jan, an even more surprising event happened. After going missing earlier in the week from the Dallas Zoo, two emperor tamarin monkeys were found in a closet in an abandoned house in Lancaster, some 15 miles south of the zoo.

After getting a tip that the animals could be in an abandoned residence, the Dallas Police Department and other local officials were able to locate them just before five o clock in the afternoon. According to the police, the residence was vacant they arrived; they also mentioned that no arrest was made and that the investigation was still going on.

On Wednesday, the team at Dallas Zoo released a statement on the condition of the monkeys. According to them, "Our veterinary and animal care teams have said, beyond losing a bit of weight, they show no signs of injury, and both started eating and drinking almost immediately once the team completed health exams on Tuesday night.”

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