Soon after helping return the escaped clouded leopard, Nova, to her Dallas Zoo enclosure, police were called on yet again — this time to begin investigating the langur monkey enclosure, which also appeared to have been tampered with.
A cut similar to that found on the clouded leopard’s enclosure was found in the fencing of the spectacled langurs’ habitat. Yet unlike Nova, who escaped Friday only to be retrieved the following day, none of the monkeys escaped.
While authorities are unsure whether the incidents are related, they do suspect foul play in the damage to both enclosures.
Fortunately, none of the animals appear to have been harmed; however, the potential danger posed by such tampering has caused some alarm.
While Nova — who is a bit larger than a housecat — is not dangerous, as zoo officials were quick to say during her disappearance, the same cannot be said for the langur monkey.
Langur monkeys originate from the Malay Peninsula. They eat leaves and vegetation and are classified as endangered.
Since they are considered “Old World” monkeys, which means they are native to Africa and Asia, they spend time primarily sitting on the ground rather than swinging in the trees.
The Dallas Zoo houses four of these monkeys, one male and three females, all in their 20s.
This is very old, as their average life expectancy was considered to be 15 years; however, some scientists have speculated that, due to the other species in its same genus having longer lifespans, the langur monkey could have a captive life expectancy of around 30 years old.
Langurs are not known to be aggressive creatures, according to a Dallas Zoo spokesperson. People generally consider them to be friendly animals, but there have been reports of wild langur monkeys biting and scratching people in India.
Luckily, the leopard that escaped was also considered non-dangerous. Nova is a four-year-old, 25-pound cat. The zoo issued a “code-blue,” meaning that a non-dangerous animal was out of its habitat.
A zoo spokesperson stated that it would be a similar call if one of the langurs were missing. Since they are non-dangerous animals, a code blue would be issued.
Police have filed reports of “criminal mischief” and are still investigating the incidents at the zoo.