Dallas Zoo Announces 'Significant Changes' to Security System After the Recovery of Missing Tamarin Monkeys

On Tuesday, the zoo announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those responsible for recent incidents of missing animals

The Dallas Zoo is reviewing its onsite security measures after a missing pair of tamarin monkeys were recovered inside a closet at an abandoned home on Tuesday.

An examination of the animals conducted by the zoo's veterinary and animal care teams on Tuesday evening revealed that the animals show no signs of injury beyond losing weight.

In a press release sent to PEOPLE, the zoo added that almost immediately after their examination, both monkeys, Bella and Finn, began eating and drinking.

While they will need to clear a quarantine period before being reintroduced to their zoo habitat, their disappearance, along with a string of other animals that have gone missing in recent weeks, has caused the zoo to begin a review of its security system.

Dallas Zoo finds missing monkeys

"Although our security program had worked in the past, it has become obvious that we need to make significant changes," the Dallas Zoo said in the release. "Words cannot express the frustration our team is feeling. Even with all the additional security measures we have put in place during the past two weeks, our animals and staff continue to be the target of these criminal acts."

The Dallas Zoo adds that video from surveillance cameras aided the Dallas Police Department in generating a tip that led to the tamarin monkeys being recovered.

Dallas Zoo finds missing monkeys

The zoo said it has added more cameras, additional security technology, additional fencing, increased security patrols, and increased overnight staffing to aid in the prevention of any new security breach.

Dallas Zoo
Tony Gutierrez/AP/Shutterstock

"We have consulted with security experts and have developed new strategies for securing the 106-acre zoo," according to the zoo's press release. "Securing a zoo is a unique challenge that requires specific needs because of the environment; there is often extensive tree canopy, expansive habitats and behind-scenes-areas to monitor, and heavy traffic from guests, contractors, and staff."

Before Bella and Finn's disappearance, a 4-year-old clouded leopard named Nova went missing on Jan. 13, prompting the zoo to close for the day.

While she was found near her enclosure later that day, an investigation by Dallas police showed that a cutting tool was used to make an opening in the fencing surrounding Nova's habitat on the day of her escape.

On Jan. 22, the Dallas Zoo reported that one of its endangered vultures living in the zoo's Wilds of Africa habitat was found dead.

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On Tuesday, the zoo announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those responsible for these incidents. Members of the public are asked to call 214-670-7694 to share information.

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