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Man arrested in tamarin monkey case charged in other incidents at Dallas Zoo

Dallas Zoo officials and police provide update on arrest in stolen monkey case
Dallas Zoo officials and police provide update on arrest in stolen monkey case 06:15

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — The man accused of stealing two tamarin monkeys from the Dallas Zoo on Monday has been linked to the clouded leopard and langur monkey incidents last month, Dallas police said on Friday.

At a press conference, a police spokesperson said that Davion Irvin was arrested on six counts of animal cruelty and one count of burglary in connection with the disappearance of the tamarin monkeys. Irvin is also facing another count of burglary related to the escape of a clouded leopard after a hole was cut in her habitat and police linked him to a similar hole found cut in a langur monkey habitat.

Irvin has not been connected to the death of an endangered vulture at the zoo. The investigations into all four incidents are still ongoing and police said further charges are possible.

Emperor tamarin monkeys Bella and Finn
Bella and Finn Dallas Zoo

A zoo spokesperson said that tips from members of the public and the Dallas World Aquarium were instrumental in identifying and catching Irvin, who was arrested without incident yesterday, two days after Bella and Finn the tamarin monkeys were found at a community house owned by the Family Center Church of God in Christ in Lancaster. 

Bella and Finn were in mostly good condition, but had lost some weight during their disappearance. The zoo said that they have since regained some of that lost weight and remain in quarantine.

Nova, the clouded leopard who escaped her habitat after Irvin allegedly cut a hole in the fence, is doing well and has settled back into her routine with her sister Luna. The langur monkeys whose habitat was also found cut open are still recovering from the stress caused by the incident.

Nova the clouded leopard. Dallas Zoo

The zoo addressed questions about security and confirmed that it is setting up new cameras and increasing patrols to help prevent incidents like this from happening in the future. Staff are evaluating internal procedures and are planning to bring in an outside security expert for help.

Irvin is being held at the Dallas County Jail on $25,000 bond for five of the cruelty charges. His bond has not been set for either burglary charge, nor for one of the cruelty charges.

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