The two emperor tamarin monkeys that were taken from the Dallas Zoo this week were found Tuesday inside a closet at an empty home in Lancaster, about 15 miles south of the zoo, the authorities said.
The monkeys — small animals with distinctive moustache-like whiskers that are native to parts of the Amazon — were first reported missing on Monday, after their enclosure appeared to have been “intentionally compromised,” the zoo said in a statement.
Their disappearance was the latest in a string of bizarre incidents involving breached enclosures or habitats that were linked to the escape and death of other animals at the Dallas Zoo this month.
The Dallas Police Department said that, together with other local authorities, it had located the animals just before 5 p.m. Monday, after receiving a tip that they might be at an abandoned home. When the authorities arrived, “the home was empty,” police said, noting that no arrests had been made and the investigation was ongoing.
“The monkeys have been returned to the zoo,” police said.
The animals will be evaluated by veterinarians, the zoo stated.
Earlier Tuesday, the police released a photo of a man who they said they were “looking to speak with” about to the missing monkeys.
The Dallas Zoo, which houses more than 2,000 animals, said it had taken further measures to safeguard them after the recent incidents.
“We are thrilled beyond belief,” a zoo spokeswoman said of the tamarins’ rescue in a statement. The facility said it had “substantially increased” the number of cameras on-site, as well as doubled security guards and overnight staff in response to the disturbances to its animals.
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