Dallas Zoo Incidents

On January 13th, 2023, Dallas zoo workers found a suspicious tear in the clouded leopard enclosure. Nova and Luna, two female clouded leopards lived in it. Throughout the day, zoo staff and police were looking for Nova, the leopard that had left the enclosure. Luna had stayed inside it. They found Nova on zoo grounds very close to her enclosure at 4:40 p.m. local time and were able to safely secure her at 5:15 p.m. At a news conference in the afternoon, Sgt. Warren Mitchell of the Dallas police revealed that the tear in the habitats mesh was made intentionally. Cuts were later found in the langur monkeys habitat fencing, but the monkeys were safe.

Around a week later, a 35-year-old endangered adult lappet-faced vulture, was found dead in its enclosure. The zoo's veterinary team found unusual injuries, proving that it was not a natural death. As far as I could find, the zoo has not released anymore details about Pin the vulture's death. However, the Dallas zoo did state that they had added cameras and hightened overnight security.

Most recently, on the night of January 29th, the man possibly responsible for all of these broke into the emperor tamarins habitat and took the two monkeys. The tamarins were found by the police after a tip from the public. They were in a vacant home were several other animals were kept. There were cats, pigeons, and dead feeder fish(there was also fish food taken from the zoo). The man who had taken the emperor tamarins was arrested and his name is Davion Irvin.

According to court records, he said that he loved animals and would steal more if released from jail. Just by taking the monkeys, Irvin has been charged with one count of burglary and six counts of animal cruelty(3 for each monkey). He faces another burglary charge for attempting to steal Nova, the clouded leopard. Police have also linked Irvin to the cuts in the langur monkey enclosure, but he isn't being charged for it, as no langur monkeys went missing. While police are still investigating, Davion Irvin has not been linked to the death of Pin, the lappet-faced vulture.

I don't understand how Irvin was even able to break into the enclosures in the first place. Security cameras should have caught him cutting the clouded leopard habitat's fencing right away. I also don't get why someone who claims to love animals, would take exotic animals out of the zoo and put them into a vacant house. Not only is the zoo able to take better care of them, but it can also simulate the animals' natural habitats. If he is going to start stealing more animals when he is released from jail, I think he should have to either stay in jail forever or be under constant watch from police.

Would you ever steal an animal?

Do you think the zoo needs more security or this is a one time thing?

How should the police/zoo handle Davion Irvin if he is released from jail?





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  • I would never steal an animal, I would think and joke about it, but never take action. I think that the zoo should have either more security or more zoo keepers in general. In most cases it is very hard to steal an entire animal from the zoo and take it our of the cage.

    • More zookeepers might help, but this man obviously had something sharp with him, and the zookeepers might not be able to protect themselves from a thief.

  • I would not steal an animal. I love animals but I think that stealing them from a zoo makes no sense. In a zoo, the animals are well taken care of. Therefore you stealing them would put them in more danger. Zoos do need more security in my opinion. 

  • I would not want to steal an animal and have never thought about it in my life. I think that if someone did they should have a lot of jail or help because there has to be something wrong with them. I dont think that anyone but him would steal animals  from a zoo. 

    • I agree that there has to be something wrong with people who steal animals and that they need to go to jail/get help.

  • I personally would never steal an animal, I just don't think that anyone should ever have that thought in their mind. But obviously someone did and did steal some animals. I think that this is most likely a one time thing, most people in the world would never think to steal an animal, let alone go through with that thought.

  • I would never steal an animal because I would have no use to steal an animal. I think this is a one time thing because not very many people are going to go into a zoo and steal an animal. I think that he should be banned from the zoo forever and he should be charged.

  • No, I would not ever consider stealing an animal, especially from a zoo. The zoos are so good to these animals and they don't deserve to have their animals to be taken away from them. The zoo probably could use more security and safety so nothing like this happens. Davion deserves to be in jail prison for what he did. I don't understand what would make you think to just go and take an animal, it is doing you no good. 

    • I completely agree with everything you're saying. Zoos are very good to their animals, and the animals shouldn't be taken away from them. Also, the zoo definitely needs more security.

  • I dont think I would ever steal an animal. Because, you would just be putting an animal in a worse home then its already in. Even if you were to free an animal it would still die because you cant take an animal in captivity and put it in the wild. There should definetly be better security in zoos. I think if he is realeased he should never be allowed in another zoo or anywhere around animals. 

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