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Man arrested in connection with monkeys stolen from Dallas Zoo: Police


(DALLAS) — Dallas police arrested a man in connection with the theft of two emperor tamarin monkeys from the Dallas Zoo. The two monkeys were found safe on Tuesday after they went missing a day prior.

Police arrested 24-year-old Davion Irvin and charged him with six counts of animal cruelty. He has been taken to the Dallas County jail, police said in a statement.

Authorities were able to identify Irvin as the man they were looking to speak with regarding the missing monkeys after releasing a photo of a person of interest and with help from the public, police said.

On Thursday, Dallas police received a tip Irvin was seen at the Dallas Aquarium near animal exhibits. When officers responded, Irvin get on a Dallas Area Rapid Transit train before he was spotted again and taken into custody.

The investigation into the case is still ongoing and further charges are possible, according to police.

The monkeys were found safe at an abandoned home in Lancaster and returned to the zoo.

The monkey theft was the latest in a series of suspicious incidents at the Dallas Zoo.

In January, a clouded leopard escaped her enclosure at the Dallas Zoo after the fence of her habitat was “intentionally cut,” the leopard was found the same day it went missing, according to officials. A second fence inside the zoo’s langur monkey habitat was cut although no monkeys escaped or were harmed.

The Dallas Zoo also found a rare and endangered vulture dead in its enclosure in January, with officials saying it did not appear to have died from natural causes.

Police have not said whether Irvin is connected to the other incidents.

The Dallas Zoo is offering a $25,000 reward for information on the person tampering with animal habitats.

Separately, 12 monkeys were stolen from a Louisiana zoo last weekend and are still missing, days later. The thief first tried to break into another habitat and steal a marmoset monkey, but was unsuccessful.

As of now, there is no indication there is a connection between the Texas and Louisiana zoo break-ins, according to the Broussard Police Department.

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