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Dallas Zoo offers $25,000 for information after 2 missing monkeys found safe

Two emperor tamarin monkeys in their enclosure at the Dallas Zoo.
Dallas Zoo
Two emperor tamarin monkeys at the Dallas Zoo. Police and zoo officials say two of the monkeys may have been stolen from their enclosure on Jan. 30, 2023.

Police believe the monkeys were taken from their enclosure — the latest in a string of mysterious incidents at the zoo.

Two emperor tamarin monkeys that went missing Monday have been found.

The zoo will now offer a $25,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest and prosecution in this series of suspicious, animal-related incidents at the zoo.

Police said they received a tip the monkeys were in an abandoned Lancaster home Tuesday. Dallas and Lancaster law enforcement found the animals in a closet inside the empty home around 4:50 p.m..

Dallas police believe the monkeys, named Bella and Finn, were taken from their enclosure. There have been no arrests, but police say they've identified a man they want to speak with "in regard to" the incident.

The monkeys were returned to the zoo Tuesday night. After an evaluation by veterinarians, the monkeys are safe aside from losing a bit of weight. Since they were taken off zoo grounds, they will have to remain in quarantine before returning to their habitats, officials said.

Earlier this month, an endangered male lappet-faced vulture named Pin was found dead with an unspecified wound.

A week earlier, a 25-pound clouded leopard named Nova went missing from its cage for hours after police and zoo officials said its mesh enclosure was intentionally slashed open. It was later revealed that an enclosure for langur monkeys also appeared to have been cut open at the time, though the animals did not escape.

President and CEO of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Dan Ashe released a statement Tuesday.

“Dallas Zoo and its animals are victims of acts, presumably intended to take animals for personal reasons, or worse, to be trafficked," The statement read. "AZA and its entire member community stand squarely with Dallas Zoo and condemn these acts of violence against the Zoo, its animals, and the entire Dallas community."

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Toluwani Osibamowo is a general assignments reporter for KERA. She previously worked as a news intern for Texas Tech Public Media and copy editor for Texas Tech University’s student newspaper, The Daily Toreador, before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She is originally from Plano.