Dallas Zoo Monkey Abduction Suspect Apprehended, Reason Unclear

The arrest of a 24-year-old man suspected of stealing two monkeys from the Dallas Zoo has given some light on a spate of odd happenings at the zoo.

Authorities said on Friday that he has also been tied to the escape of a tiny leopard and a hole in the fence of some other monkey enclosures. What remains unknown is why the police believe he committed the crime.


According to authorities, Davion Irvin was detained on Thursday and charged with six charges of animal abuse and two counts of burglary.

Irvin was apprehended following a sighting of him at The Dallas World Aquarium, where a worker identified him from news reporting of the kidnapped monkeys.

Monday, after Bella and Finn, emperor tamarin monkeys, were taken from their enclosure, police published a photo and video of a guy they want to speak with. The police eventually identified the individual as Irvin.

Dallas police spokeswoman Kristin Lowman stated any information about a suspected motivation was still relevant to the current inquiry.

Bella and Finn were discovered Tuesday in the closet of an empty house in Lancaster, a Dallas neighborhood about 15 miles south of the zoo, following a tip from the public. However, their abduction was just the latest in a series of strange occurrences at the zoo.

Nova, a clouded leopard, was discovered missing from her habitat on January 13. According to police, a cutter was used to make a hole in her enclosure. The zoo closed as the hunt for her began and she was located near her habitat later that day.

Police reported that zoo employees discovered a similar tear in a langur monkey enclosure, but none of the animals escaped or seemed to be injured.

On January 21, zoo employees discovered Pin, a rare lappet-faced vulture, dead. Gregg Hudson, the zoo’s president and chief executive officer, described the death as “extremely odd” and stated the vulture had “a wound.”

Lowman stated on Friday they are still probing, but Irvin has not been connected to the demise of the vulture.


According to the police, Irvin faces six counts of animal cruelty.

At the media briefing, Lowman stated one of the burglary offenses was connected to the cut discovered in the langur monkeys’ enclosure, but she subsequently clarified it was linked to the emperor tamarin monkeys.

She stated, however, that Irvin has been linked to the breach in the langur monkey enclosure. The police nabbed Irvin on Friday after getting information that he had been spotted near the animal displays at The Dallas World Aquarium.

According to police, responding cops observed him boarding the city’s light rail and then located him a few streets away. He was then transported to the police station for interrogation.

Waylon Tate, a spokesman at the aquarium, stated Irvin had approached a staffer to inquire about an animal and the staffer identified him from the news.

Friday evening, Irvin remained in jail on a $25,000 bail. Inmate records did not list a counsel to represent him. The phone numbers supplied for his relatives were not immediately responded to when they were called.

This article appeared in NewsHouse and has been published here with permission.