24-year-old man arrested in connection with the kidnapping of 2 monkeys from Dallas Zoo

  • In US
  • 2023-02-03 14:56:46Z
  • By Fort Worth Star-Telegram

A 24-year-old man who police had been searching for in connection to emperor tamarin monkeys that went missing from the Dallas Zoo was in custody Friday after his arrest, Dallas police said.

Police identified the man as Davion Irvin, who was taken into custody Thursday in Dallas, two days after the monkeys were found in an empty house that belongs to a church in Lancaster.

Irving was in the Dallas County Jail on Friday and he faces six charges in the case involving the monkeys.

Dallas police said Irvin was under investigation in a case involving the clouded leopard that disappeared about three weeks ago after its cage was cut at the Dallas Zoo. The leopard was eventually found not far from its cage.

And Irvin also is under investigation related to a vulture at the zoo which was found dead with what appeared to be a stab wound at the same time some fish and other items were believed to have been stolen from the zoo, according to WFAA-TV.

On Thursday, police received a tip that Irvin was seen at the Dallas Aquarium near animal exhibits.

When officers responded they saw Irvin get onto a DART rail, Dallas police said. Officers later spotted Irvin in the 1400 block of Pacific and took him to Jack Evans Headquarters for questioning.

WFAA-TV reported that Irvin was in the Aquarium near an animal habitat and checking out the mesh enclosures.

The emperor tamarin monkeys who went missing from the Dallas Zoo on Monday morning and were found Tuesday have lost a little weight but show no signs of injury, according to zoo officials.

Zoo officials realized that Bella and Finn, the monkeys, had been taken out of the zoo after their enclosure was found to be tampered with, according to Dallas police and zoo officials.

Earlier in the week, Dallas police had released a photograph of a man who authorities wanted to question about the missing monkeys. That man has now been identified as Davion Irvin.

WFAA-TV reported the monkeys were found in at closet of a building that belongs to a church in Lancaster.

The pastor's daughter, Tonya Thomas, told WFAA that church members recognized Irvin from the neighborhood and he would sometimes attend services.

Thomas also said that there had been a series of break-ins at the empty building, which was being renovated to be used as a community center.

She said when police arrived to investigate the prior burglaries they found birds, cats and other small animals.

Thomas told WFAA her father called police and told them they might want to check the building because they believed the man police were looking for might have been the person breaking in.


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