There are either missing, dead, or injured animals in the Dallas Zoo, according to recent claims from a variety of news sites.
A suspect in relation to the missing monkeys was taken into custody on Friday, Feb. 3, following a string of strange events that took place at the Dallas Zoo during a brief period.
Police are currently investigating whether the individual was involved in the earlier incidents.
The Dallas Police Department reports that Davion Irvin, 24, was charged with six counts of animal cruelty and that more charges may be expected.
Harrison Edell, executive vice president for animal care and conservation at the Dallas Zoo, voiced his outrage by likening the circumstances to several stomach punches.
Numerous Artificial Holes In The Dallas Zoo
On January 13, a human-made hole allowed a clouded leopard by the name of Nova to escape from her pen, according to FOX4.
This was the initial incidence.
A non-dangerous animal was on the loose, according to a “code blue” advisory issued by the authorities, so they decided to close the zoo.
After spending about 6.5 hours looking for her, they finally located her on zoo grounds, roughly 100 yards from her habitat.
The habitat for the langur monkeys was cut similarly to the one in Nova’s enclosure the day following, but every monkey was there and they were all identified.
A rare and endangered lappet-faced vulture passed away from an unidentified wound a week later.
The zoo estimates that there are just about 6,500 of these vultures left in existence.
The zoo has four of the 27 lappet-faced vultures that were maintained in captivity in the United States, including Pin, a 35-year-old bird.
The Dallas Zoo’s official account on Twitter claimed that the animal care staff was grieved by the tragic loss as well as the strange circumstances surrounding the death, which did not appear to be the result of natural causes.
This weekend, our staff found that one of the endangered vultures in our Wilds of Africa habitats had died. The animal care team is heartbroken over this tremendous loss. Please keep them in your thoughts as they process what has happened. pic.twitter.com/0fqJc8Uk2Y
— Dallas Zoo (@DallasZoo) January 22, 2023
In response to these events, the zoo tightened security by recruiting additional staff members overnight and adding more cameras.
However, Bella and Finn, two emperor tamarin monkeys, went missing from their habitat on January 30.
A few days later, in the cupboard of an abandoned home in Lancaster, Texas, they were safely found and brought back to the zoo.
The animals experienced minor weight loss, but there were no outward symptoms of harm, according to veterinarians who examined them.
The Dallas Zoo stated on its Facebook page that it will keep a tight eye on the monkeys, but for the time being, they are just happy that they are secure and back in its custody.
The monkeys will have to go through a quarantine period because they were removed from the property before they can be restored to their home in the Lacerte Family Children’s Zoo, so they won’t be going back there for a short while.
Trafficking In Wildlife
The occurrences serve as a reminder that it’s crucial to safeguard animals at zoos, national parks, and other natural environments, according to Dan Ashe, president and CEO of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
In a statement, he continued, “The organization stands with the zoo and asserts that it and its animals are the victims of crimes that were likely meant to take the animals for personal use or, worse still, to be trafficked.”
The annual market for wildlife trafficking is thought to be worth between $7.8 billion and $10 billion.
Elephants, tigers, and pangolins are just a handful of the species that are in danger of extinction because of poaching and wildlife trafficking.
Also read: Washington Animal Sanctuary Sued, Faces Potential Euthanasia for 80% of Exotic Animals
Various Zoo Incidents
Theft at zoos happens frequently.
Animal theft reports came from 25 members of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria in 2015, according to Katharine Gammon’s article from four years ago in the Guardian.
One of the rhinos’ horns was shot, killed, and hacked off in 2017 after poachers broke into a French zoo.
The Santa Ana Zoo and the San Francisco Zoo both lost a ring-tailed lemur in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
Both lemurs were returned in good condition.
Twelve squirrel monkeys were stolen from a Louisiana zoo two days prior to Finn and Bella going missing. This incident is currently the subject of an investigation by the police.
These two cases have no known connections as of yet.
The CEO of the American Association of Zoo Keepers, Ed Hansen, said the coincidence aroused some concerns since people who remove animals from zoos frequently learn too late that they have taken on far more than they can handle.
Hansen underlined that these creatures are not your average house cat; rather, they are endangered species with particular feeding requirements.
The Smithsonian Magazine noted that people typically release them after they realize they cannot manage them.