Man accused of taking suspected monkeys from Dallas zoo in other incidents

DALLAS (AP) – The man charged with taking two emperor tamarin monkeys from the Dallas Zoo has also been charged in two other recent incidents involving holes cut in animal enclosure fences , the authorities announced on Friday.

Davion Irvin, 24, has been charged with two burglaries into a building in connection with cutting the enclosure fences for a clouded leopard and langur monkeys, police spokeswoman Kristin Lowman said during a news conference. The langur monkeys did not escape and were not injured. The leopard did but was later found safely near its enclosure.

Lowman said police are still investigating whether there was a link to the suspected death of an endangered vulture at the zoo.

This image provided by the Dallas County Jail shows Davion Irvin. Dallas Police say Irvin was arrested Thursday, February 2, 2023 in the case of the two monkeys kidnapped from the Dallas Zoo after he was sighted near the animal exhibits at an aquarium in the city . (Dallas County Jail via AP)

“The past month has been an emotional roller coaster for the team here at the Dallas Zoo,” Harrison Edell, the zoo’s executive vice president of animal care and conservation, said at the press conference.

Irvin was arrested Thursday on six counts of animal cruelty — three each for the two emperor monkeys that were captured, police said. His bail was set at $25,000 and no attorney was listed for him in prison records.

The tamarin monkeys went missing on Monday and a cut was found in the fence of their enclosure.

This photo provided by the Dallas Zoo shows emperor monkeys Bella and Finn at the zoo on Wednesday, February 1, 2023 in the latest in a series of strange events at the zoo over the past few weeks, including other fences being cut, the escape of a small leopard and the suspect Death of an endangered vulture. The two baby monkeys, found Tuesday, Jan. 31, in an abandoned house after being retrieved from the Dallas Zoo, lost some weight during their ordeal but showed no signs of injury, the zoo said on Wednesday with (Dallas Zoo via AP)

After receiving a tip, the police found the little monkeys named Bella and Finn on Tuesday in the closet of a vacant house south of the zoo.

Earlier this week, police released a photo and video from the zoo of a man they said they wanted to speak to about the missing monkeys.

Police said Friday they arrested Irvin after receiving a tip that he had been seen near the animal exhibits at the Dallas World Aquarium. Responding officers saw him boarding the light rail and later spotted him a few blocks away, police said. He was then taken to police headquarters for questioning.

Waylon Tate, a spokesman for the aquarium, said Irvin stopped an employee to ask questions about one of the aquarium’s animals and the employee recognized him from the reporting of the missing monkeys.

“We believe[Irvin]wanted to commit another crime,” Lowman said at the news conference.

FILE – A Dallas Police vehicle parks at an entrance to the Dallas Zoo, January 13, 2023. When police said two baby monkeys were removed from the Dallas Zoo this week and a cut was found in their enclosure, it deepened a growing one Mystery has included other fences being cut, the escape of a small leopard and the suspicious death of an endangered vulture. Police said on Tuesday January 31 they are still working to determine whether or not the incidents of the past few weeks are related. (Shakfat Anowar/The Dallas Morning News via AP, file)

The missing monkeys were the last a series of unusual events at the zoo for the past few weeks, including other enclosure fences that have been cut and the death of the vulture.

The mysterious happenings at the zoo began on January 13 when arriving workers found the clouded leopard named Nova missing from their cage, and police said a cutting tool had been used to make an opening in their enclosure. The zoo was closed when a search began for her and she was found near her habitat later that day.

Zoo workers also had found a similar wound in an enclosure for langur monkeys, although none escaped or appeared injured, police said.

On January 21, workers arriving at the zoo found an endangered crested 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 he declined to give further details. Man accused of taking suspected monkeys from Dallas zoo in other incidents

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