(USNewsMag.com) – In the second half of January, the Dallas Zoo experienced a series of bizarre events in which animal habitats had been intentionally compromised.
The first major incident occurred on January 13th when the zoo announced that it was closed due to a non-dangerous animal that was missing from its enclosure. It was later announced that the missing animal, a 25-pound clouded leopard named Nova, was found hiding elsewhere on the grounds and that the enclosure had been cut open. The following day the zoo inspected the animal habitats and discovered that a similar hole had been made in an enclosure that housed langur monkeys.
In the aftermath, the zoo announced additional video surveillance systems were being installed and that they would increase their overnight foot patrols.
Sadly, the next unusual occurrence at the zoo was the discovery of the death of a 35-year-old lappet-faced vulture named Pin. Officials said the animal had a suspicious wound and offered a $10,000 reward for information.
The caretakers at the zoo were reportedly devastated by the loss of Pin, noting that vultures are not only federally protected but that they are one of the most endangered species of birds in the world.
On the last Monday of the month, the zoo announced that two emperor tamarin monkeys were missing and presumed to have been stolen. According to the Dallas Morning News, the habitat had previously been compromised intentionally. The Dallas Police Department announced that it had received a tip and with the assistance of the police in Lancaster, a town about 15 miles from the Zoo, they were able to recover the two monkeys.
The small primates were found inside a closet in an abandoned house and were quickly returned to the zoo where they were checked by veterinarians and determined to be unharmed.
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums, a group responsible for giving zoos accreditation, made a statement expressing their support for Dallas Zoo and laying the blame for the recent string of incidents on the perpetrators who “presumably intended to take animals for personal reasons,” or trafficking.
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