‘Here, Kitty Kitty’: Dallas Zoo Calls Escaped ‘Non-Dangerous’ Leopard ‘A Serious Situation.’ Twitter Users, Not So Much.
(Chad Lee/500px/Getty Images)

The Dallas Zoo closed Friday due to a “serious situation” — though Twitter users didn’t think it was that serious.

The zoo closed Friday morning 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. Twitter users, however, were less serious about the whole thing, and made jokes about the effort to rescue the rare leopard.

“Just push the lever on an electric can opener,” one Twitter user suggested. “It will come running.”

“I’m sure you are the experts, but have you tried saying ‘Here kitty kitty kitty’ then clicking your tongue a few times?” a user inquired. “It works about half time with my cat.”

“Has anyone tried pspspsps,” asked another.

One user had a few suggestions. “Have you tried: Cat nip[,] Opening a can of wet food[,] Or shaking kitty’s favorite treats?” the user said. “Also try putting out an empty Amazon box, smaller the better or use a laser pointer! Use any of these, you’ll find kitty!”

“The Zoo is closed today due to a serious situation,” the zoo wrote in a Twitter thread Friday morning. “We have an ongoing situation at the Zoo right now with a Code Blue – that is a non-dangerous animal that is out of its habitat. One of our clouded leopards was not in its habitat when the team arrived this morning and is unaccounted for at this time.”

“Dallas PD is onsite assisting with the search efforts,” the zoo added. “The Zoo is closed today as our teams work to find and recover the animal. Given the nature of these animals, we believe the animal is still on grounds and hiding. We will share updates and more information as soon as we can. Our focus right now is on locating the animal.”

Clouded leopards are native to South Asia; their territory extends from southern China to the Himalayas, and into Southeast Asia. Adult clouded leopards grow to between 27 and 43 inches long from head to back legs, with a tail between two and three feet long. They weigh between 25 and 50 pounds. The name “clouded leopard” comes from the cats’ fur, brown with large spots along its flanks that look like clouds. The cats are uniquely superb climbers, able to descend vertical trees head-down, walk across horizontal branches upside-down, and hang from branches using their tails and back paws.

Clouded leopards are solitary and nocturnal. They eat small forest mammals like primates, deer, rodents, and pangolins. The species is considered vulnerable, according to the international Red List of Endangered Species. Much of their habitat has been deforested and the remaining habitat is too small to ensure long-term population. The cats are also hunted by poachers for their fur, bones, claws, and meat.

As of the publication of this piece, the zoo and police are still searching for the animal. In a press conference Friday afternoon, Dallas Police said that they have opened a criminal investigation; Dallas Police Sgt. Warren Mitchell said that the mesh habitat appears to have been intentionally cut.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ‘Here, Kitty Kitty’: Dallas Zoo Calls Escaped ‘Non-Dangerous’ Leopard ‘A Serious Situation.’ Twitter Users, Not So Much.