Dallas Zoo: 2nd cut found in monkey habitat

Southwest

DALLAS (NewsNation) — Police investigating how a clouded leopard escaped her enclosure at the Dallas Zoo on Friday determined that a cutting tool was used to intentionally make an opening in the small cat’s habitat fence. Investigators also discovered a second, similar cut at the habitat for small monkeys.

Dallas police said Saturday evening that they did not know if the two incidents were related. None of the langur monkeys escaped and none appeared to be harmed.

Dallas Police responded to the zoo regarding missing a clouded leopard on Friday after zoo employees discovered Nova was missing from her habitat.

After a daylong search of the 100-acre zoo, Nova was discovered by late afternoon near her habitat. The Dallas Zoo told NewsNation that they discovered Nova after a rogue, vocal squirrel tipped them off to an area to focus their search.

After it was determined that Nova wasn’t injured, the zoo said that she spent Saturday with her sister, Luna, in their habitat, “perched up on a high branch while oh-so-many guests stopped by to wish her well.”

Police and zoo officials have said they have reviewed surveillance footage but would not say what it showed or whether there were potential suspects.

Animals have escaped enclosures from the Dallas Zoo before. The most notable escape was in 2004, when a 340-pound gorilla named Jabari jumped over a wall and went on a 40-minute rampage that injured three people before police shot and killed the animal.

On Friday, the Dallas Police Department opened a criminal investigation into the incident after it was determined to be an intentional cut in the habitat’s wire mesh. The investigation remains ongoing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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