Dallas Police are investigating the disappearance of a pair of monkeys, the latest in a string of mysterious animal absences.
The Monkeys went missing Monday afternoon. Police said Tuesday that they were looking for a person of interest who may have information on the monkeys, a pair of emperor tamarins from South America. The missing monkeys are the latest in a series of critter capers that have plagued the zoo this month.
The DPD tweeted a photo of the person of interest and asked for the public’s help in identifying and locating the man. “Dallas Police are looking for the public’s help in identifying the pictured individual,” the department tweeted Tuesday. “Detectives are looking to speak with the man in regard to the two tamarin monkeys missing from the Dallas Zoo.”
The man in the photo is black, wearing a blue hoodie, black pants, and a dark-colored beanie; he is eating a bag of Doritos.
The monkeys went missing on Monday. “On Monday morning (January 30), Dallas Zoo alerted the Dallas Police Department after the animal care team discovered two of our emperor tamarin monkeys were missing,” the zoo tweeted. “It was clear the habitat had been intentionally compromised.”
“Emperor tamarin monkeys would likely stay close to home – the Zoo searched near their habitat and across Zoo grounds, and did not locate them,” the zoo added. “Based on the Dallas Police Department’s initial assessment, they have reason to believe the tamarins were taken.” The zoo was unable to add any information because the investigation was ongoing.
Emperor tamarin monkeys would likely stay close to home – the Zoo searched near their habitat and across Zoo grounds, and did not locate them. Based on the Dallas Police Department’s initial assessment, they have reason to believe the tamarins were taken.
— Dallas Zoo (@DallasZoo) January 30, 2023
Fortunately, the monkeys were recovered late Tuesday afternoon. Local news outlets reported that the tamarins were found in a home in the nearby city of Lancaster. “We are thrilled beyond belief to share that our two emperor tamarin monkeys have been found,” the zoo tweeted. “DPD located the animals early this evening, and called our team to come secure and transport the tamarins back to the Zoo. They will be evaluated by our veterinarians this evening.”
The zoo promised updates about the monkeys Wednesday; Dallas Police would discuss the recovery efforts as well.
This is the fourth incident that has taken place at the Dallas zoo this month. First, the zoo closed on January 13 when Nova, a clouded leopard, escaped its habitat. Dallas Police assisted in the search and found evidence that the animal may have intentionally been let loose. In a press conference later that afternoon, Dallas Police said that they opened a criminal investigation; Dallas Police Sgt. Warren Mitchell said that the mesh habitat appeared to have been intentionally cut. The leopard was found at the end of the day on Tuesday near her habitat.
But the next day, another gash was found in a habitat of langur monkeys; fortunately, the monkeys were all accounted for.
Then on January 21, an endangered lappet-faced vulture was found dead. The zoo said that the death of the 35-year-old bird, named Pin, was “unusual” and did “not appear to be from natural causes.”
“It appears that somebody really has an issue with the Dallas Zoo,” Ed Hansen, chief executive of the American Association of Zoo Keepers, reacted to the incidents to the Associated Press.