The Dallas Zoo announced that the missing two emperor tamarin monkeys were found and rescued by the Dallas Police Department late Tuesday afternoon.
“We are thrilled beyond belief to share that our two emperor tamarin monkeys have been found,” Kari Streiber, the vice president of marketing and communications for the Dallas Zoo, announced to The Dallas Express.
“DPD located the animals early this evening, and called our team to come secure and transport the tamarins back to the Zoo,” Streiber continued. “They will be evaluated by our veterinarians this evening.”
Kristin Lowman, the public information officer for the Dallas Police Department, further detailed to The Dallas Express that the monkeys were found around 4:50 p.m.
“Dallas Police, with the help of the Lancaster Police Department, located the two missing tamarin monkeys from the Dallas Zoo,” she explained. “Dallas Police received a tip the monkeys may be at an abandoned home in Lancaster.”
Lancaster is a town just South of Dallas, roughly 12 miles away from the Dallas Zoo.
“Dallas Police, with Lancaster Police, went to the home and the home was empty and the monkeys were found in a closet,” Lowman continued. “The monkeys have been returned to the zoo.”
Currently, no arrests have been made, and the investigation is ongoing. This development came several hours after DPD shared an image of a person of interest, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
The loss and recovery of the monkeys are the latest in a string of suspicious incidents that have troubled the Dallas Zoo.
On January 13, the clouded leopard exhibit was allegedly tampered with, leading to the escape of one animal, which was recovered later that day. Similarly, the langur monkey enclosure was compromised a few days later.
Then an endangered vulture was found dead in its exhibit, leading the zoo to double security, reduce animal exposure, and offer $10,000 for information leading to an arrest.
Although no motive has been publicly identified, some animal rights activists have suggested to The Dallas Express that the monkeys might have been stolen to sell them on the lucrative “exotic pet trade.”
A representative from the Animal Connection of Texas claimed, “There is little oversight of the sale and ownership of exotic animals in Texas, which could make it easy for thieves to offload these monkeys to a buyer.”