Back at Dallas Zoo, found monkeys get fed, snuggle up
DALLAS (AP) — The two small monkeys who were found in a vacant house a day after being taken from the Dallas Zoo lost a bit of weight during their ordeal but show no signs of injury, the zoo said Wednesday.
The disappearance Monday of the two emperor tamarin monkeys — named Bella and Finn — and the discovery that their enclosure had been cut were the latest in a string of unusual events at the zoo over the last few weeks, which has included other cut fences, the escape of a small leopard and the suspicious death of an endangered vulture.
Dallas police said they found the monkeys — who have long whiskers that look like a mustache — late Tuesday afternoon in the closet of a home south of the zoo after getting a tip from the public. No arrests have been made.
The zoo said Wednesday on Twitter that both Bella and Finn “started eating and drinking almost immediately" after they were examined, and the two were “so happy to snuggle in their nest sack” on Tuesday night.
“We will continue to monitor them closely, but for now, we’re so glad they are safe and back with us,” the zoo said in a Wednesday statement.
Police had released a photo and video of a man they said they wanted to talk to about the monkeys, and were still seeking him Wednesday.
They are also trying to determine if the string of incidents over the last few weeks at the zoo are related or not.
On Jan. 13, arriving workers found that a clouded leopard named Nova was missing from her cage, and police said that a cutting tool had been intentionally used to make an opening in her enclosure. The zoo closed as a search for her got underway, and she was found later that day near her habitat.
Zoo workers had also found a similar gash in an enclosure for langur monkeys, though none got out or appeared harmed, police said.
On Jan. 21, workers arriving at the zoo found an endangered lappet-faced vulture named Pin dead. Gregg Hudson, the zoo's president and CEO, called the death “very suspicious” and said the vulture had “a wound," but declined to give further details.
The zoo said in its Wednesday statement that the incidents over the last few weeks have led officials there to “take a a hard look” at security measures, saying that while what they've had in place has worked in the past “it has become obvious that we need to make significant changes.”
The zoo said it has already implemented additional security measures that have included adding more cameras, additional fencing and more patrols, and will make other changes as well.
The zoo said that since Bella and Finn were taken away from the zoo, they'll need to undergo a quarantine period before they can return to their habitat there.
Meanwhile, in Louisiana, officials said they have launched an investigation after 12 squirrel monkeys were discovered missing Sunday from a zoo in the state's southwest. Their habitat at Zoosiana in Broussard, about 60 miles (96 kilometers) west of Baton Rouge, had been “compromised” and some damage was done to get in, city Police Chief Vance Olivier said Tuesday.