The Dallas Zoo says the two monkeys that are believed to have been taken from their habitats Monday have been found.
Dallas police said that they found the two emperor tamarin monkeys after getting a tip. Police said they then went to the empty home in Lancaster, located just south of Dallas, and found the monkeys safe in a closet.
“We are thrilled beyond belief to share that our two emperor tamarin monkeys have been found,” zoo officials said in a statement. “DPD located the animals early this evening, and called our team to come secure and transport the tamarins back to the Zoo. They will be evaluated by our veterinarians this evening.”
Zoo officials added that more information would be given Wednesday while details about the recovery will be provided by Dallas Police.
No arrests have been made.
The empty building where the monkeys were found was recently broken into and filled with wild animals, according to a nearby church that owned the property and planned to use it as a youth center.
Meanwhile, Dallas Police on Tuesday asked for help identifying a man they say they want to speak with about the case. Detectives said they wanted to speak with the man “in regard to the two tamarin monkeys missing from the Dallas Zoo,” but offered few other details.
“We reached out to authorities saying that we thought we knew who the person was and how we have had recent break-ins at our youth center that we’ve been trying to get going for the community,” said Tanya, the daughter of the church’s pastor who wished to be identified by her first name.
“Someone has gotten back in there and destroyed it even further,” she said. “So that’s setting us back even further as far as getting the facility up and going. But it was really a shock to see that those precious, you know, animals were in there.”
A spokesman for the Family Center church says the organization is working with the police to identify the person responsible.
“The intruder not only caused significant damage to the youth center’s facilities, but also put the safety of both the animals and the community at risk. Despite the setback, the church remains committed to its mission of providing support and resources to those in need and is working closely with local authorities to ensure that the culprit is brought to justice,” the spokesperson said.
It’s the fourth suspicious incident at the zoo since the beginning of the new year — the first involving a clouded leopard, Nova, who escaped her enclosure after police discovered it had been intentionally cut. As Dallas Police opened a criminal investigation, zoo staff members the next day found a similar intentional cut on the enclosure that houses langur monkeys, all of whom were accounted for. Most recently, an endangered vulture was found dead with an “unusual wound,“zoo officials said. Dallas Police later said they were investigating the death as being suspicious.