More Trouble for Dallas Zoo As Two Emperor Tamarin Monkeys Go Missing

What the fluff is going on over at the Dallas Zoo?

First, the facility’s clouded leopard, Nova, escaped after what investigators called an “intentional” tear was made in the side of her enclosure. Then a second hole was found, this time at the langur monkey habitat, though no animals managed to escape before staff noticed the “similar cut.” Just over a week later came the “suspicious” and “unusual” death of one of their vultures.

Then, on Monday, two monkeys vanished—and have yet to be found.

Dallas police believe the pair of emperor tamarin monkeys were “taken,” according to a zoo spokesperson, who told The Dallas Morning News that it was “clear the habitat had been intentionally compromised.” Zoo crews and police officers swept both the enclosure and wider grounds without luck, she added.

With an investigation on the matter ongoing, few other details were immediately provided.

The disappearance of the emperor tamarins, small primates with long white whiskers that resemble mustaches, comes nine days after the lappet-faced vulture, a 35-year-old endangered animal named Pin, was found dead. Pin did not appear to have died “from natural causes,” according to the zoo, which offered a $10,000 reward for any information.

The zoo also said in the wake of Pin’s death that it would beef up its security, with additional cameras and overnight patrols being added. “We will continue to implement and expand our safety and security measures to whatever level necessary to keep our animals and staff safe,” it said at the time.

On Jan. 13, Nova the leopard’s escape prompted a brief shutdown of the zoo. After a search operation involving infrared drones and a SWAT team, the 25-pound cat was found safe and uninjured, not far from her habitat.

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