Police have arrested a 24-year-old man in connection with the disappearance of two emperor monkeys from the Dallas Zoo, authorities said Friday.
Photos of a man, believed to belong to suspect Davion Irvin, circulated throughout North Texas and a Dallas World Aquarium employee recognized him at the marine facility Thursday, aquarium spokesman Waylon Tate said in a statement.
The suspect stopped an employee “to ask questions about one of our animals,” and that employee “immediately recognized Mr. Irvin from previous reporting on the incident involving the suspected theft of two emperor monkeys,” according to Tate.
After authorities were called, approaching officers saw Irvin boarding a Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) train before being taken into custody near the 1400 block of Pacific Avenue, Dallas police spokesman Kristin Lowman said in a statement.
“Investigations into all cases at the zoo are ongoing and further charges are possible,” Lowman said.
The emperor tamarin monkeys were stolen from their habitats at the Dallas Zoo on Monday.
Police credited tips from the public that led them to the monkeys, Bella and Finn, who were found in the closet of a vacant house in nearby Lancaster on Tuesday. The animals were not harmedofficials said.
Their disappearance was the latest in a series of suspicious incidents at the zoo. Investigators found a deliberate cut in their habitat and previously said they believed they had been taken.
According to Lowman, Irvin has been charged with six counts of cruelty to non-livestock animals in the tamarin monkey case.
The suspect was taken into custody at 11:39 p.m. CT on Thursday and held in lieu of $25,000 bail, jail records showed.
It was not immediately clear Friday morning whether Irvin had hired or assigned a lawyer.
Friday’s police announcement did not link this arrest to the other suspicious incidents at the zoo.
On January 21, a 35-year-old endangered vulture, Pin, was found dead with what authorities have described as an “unusual wound.” The animal’s cause of death has not been determined.
On Jan. 13, Nova, a 3-year-old clouded leopard, escaped from her wire enclosure after an incision was made in it, authorities said. The cat, which the zoo said posed no danger to the public, was found later that day.
The zoo has tightened security measures, added more nighttime guards and cameras and offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and charges against the incidents, the spokeswoman said.
This is an evolving story. Check back later for updates.