One man has finally been taken into custody in relation to a pair of monkeys that were stolen from their exhibits within the Dallas Zoo.
Officials with the Dallas police force have recently made the announcement via a Friday morning press conference. The suspect, who was reportedly the very same person which police forces were looking for on Tuesday, has been issued charges which include multiple counts of animal cruelty. These monkeys which were monkey-napped, a pair of emperor tamarins named Bella and Finn, were taken early Tuesday morning but were discovered and taken back to their handlers that very same day.
“On Thursday night, Dallas police arrested Davion Irvin, 24, in connection with the emperor tamarin monkey case here at the Dallas Zoo,” explained Kristin Lowman, a spokeswoman for DPD, at the aforementioned press conference. “Preliminary investigation and help from the public identified him as the man we were looking to speak to regarding this case.”
As explained by police officials, they were given a tip just after posting a picture of the suspect in the case to their social media accounts. That particular tip expressed that a number of people had spotted the suspect hunkered down inside a vacant house located out in Lancaster, at which the monkeys were later recovered. The house had ended up being watched by the neighborhood because it had recently been broken into and a number of animals had been discovered inside, stated a report from Dallas Morning News. Police were able to respond to the tip and found the house unoccupied and unlocked. Officers discovered the monkeys inside, all alongside a number of house cats and pigeons.
The suspect seems to have planned out his simian seizure quite thoroughly. As reported in the arrest warrant affidavit obtained by the Dallas Morning News, a few days prior to his stealing the monkeys, Irvin started asking zoo staff a series of questions, which oddly included “obscure questions such as practices in housing and moving of animals”; and very specific questions in regard to the emperor tamarins, including how they needed to be cared for; along with the “status and location” of the zoo’s clouded leopard, which itself went missing back in January. The suspect was also reportedly spotted going into areas and spying through windows all around the areas of the Zoo not open to the general public.
A second tip was needed to eventually bring Irvin into custody. He ended up being spotted on Thursday at the Dallas World Aquarium while wearing the same style and color of clothes he had been spotted in while at the zoo. As reported by a spokesman for the Aquarium, Irvin stopped one of the keepers at the aquarium to ask questions about an animal. The employee “immediately recognized” from the various pictures and reports from the police. “The employee swiftly notified local authorities, and Mr. Irvin was later apprehended outside of and away from our facility,” concluded the spokesman.
The monkeys were taken back to the zoo and are safe as of Wednesday. “Emperor tamarin monkeys, Bella and Finn, were so happy to snuggle into their nest sack here at the Zoo last night!” expressed the Zoo as part of a post to Twitter. “Our vet and animal care teams have said, beyond losing a bit of weight, they show no signs of injury.”