Earlier this year, the Dallas Zoo became a hot topic for animal lovers and locals on social media, even getting jokes on Saturday Night Live. The subject was the worrying and bizarre incidents involving its animals.
Up until now at the Dallas Zoo, here’s a chronological sequence of events. However, there are still some unresolved inquiries, as the individual whom the police claim is accountable is currently under arrest on federal charges.
Clouded leopard escapes
Later in the day, Nova was discovered unharmed, however, the zoo ceased operations. In a Twitter post, the personnel at Dallas Zoo stated that one of their clouded leopards, known as Nova, was absent from its designated area on the morning of January 13th.
The police began an investigation when they noticed some apparent tampering in the habitat of the langur monkeys at the zoo. However, the police in Dallas said that although it seemed to be an intentional cut in the animal enclosure, the monkeys did not escape.
Endangered vulture found dead
The police later referred to an “abnormal injury,” and on the morning of January 21, workers discovered one of the zoo’s at-risk male lappet-faced vultures deceased in its enclosure.
According to Harrison Edell, the zoo’s vice president of animal care and conservation, the vulture named Pin was considered a part of the staff’s family.
Edell said, “He lived here at the Dallas Zoo for 33 years, closely working with a lot of our teams.”
Over a week ago, authorities initiated an investigation into the demise of the vulture, which was linked to the escape of the clouded leopard and the destruction of the langur monkey habitat.
The zoo also provided a $10,000 incentive to the public for any details regarding the occurrences.
On January 30, two emperor tamarin monkeys called Bella and Finn disappeared from their cages.
Dallas police said they found intentional cuts in the monkeys’ habitat, indicating that they were taken for a big enough purpose to harm humans, once again.
Police affidavits describe the conditions in the house as “poor,” with the presence of dead animal bodies, feces, mildew, and mold. The house also contained several other animals such as pigeons and cats. The police received a tip about the missing monkeys and went to an abandoned home in Lancaster, where they rescued two emperor tamarin monkeys from a bedroom closet.
The day that $25,000 was spent to apprehend an intelligence lead, the monkeys were safely returned to Zoo Dallas, in exchange for the raised reward.
Law enforcement initiated an investigation into the vanishing of the primates in relation to the preceding two incidents.
On February 2nd, Dallas Police received another tip that a man matching the description released on Twitter was seen hanging around the animal exhibits at World Aquarium Dallas.
After arriving at the scene, the police said they spotted Irvin Davion, a 24-year-old, boarding a DART train on Pacific Avenue. They arrested him and brought him in for questioning.
As per police records, Irvin had inquired zoo staff “obscure” inquiries regarding the care and accommodation of the tamarin monkeys.
Those documents claim that he also informed the authorities that he would repeat his actions if set free.
Due to the vanishing of the clouded leopard and tamarin monkeys, Irvin has been accused of six instances of mistreatment towards animals and two serious charges of breaking and entering.
However, the authorities did not connect Irvin to the demise of the vulture — that inquiry is still ongoing.
According to affidavits, Irvin entered the zoo like any other visitor and purchased tickets. Zoo officials still assured that public changes would be made to keep patrons and animals safe.
On February 21, Sean Greene, the executive vice president of the Dallas Zoo, unveiled the most recent security protocols for members of the Dallas City Council.
Following each incident, Greene ensured the implementation of various measures, such as motion-detecting cameras equipped with alarms, police surveillance camera units powered by solar energy, and extra security personnel stationed at the zoo premises.
Greene said, “We shouldn’t overlook the attention that Dallas or the zoo can attract.” “There are some positives to this. I think people have learned a little bit about some animals they never knew about.”