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?