Man Arrested For Stealing Monkeys From Dallas Zoo Says He’d Do It Again If Released From Jail

DALLAS – A man, now linked to a series of strange crimes that kept the Dallas Zoo on high alert for missing animals, has been arrested and charged with several counts of animal cruelty and burglary. According to court records, Davion Irvin, 24, told police that after he stole two emperor tamarin monkeys from the zoo, he took them on the city’s light rail system to escape.

He also claimed that he loves animals and would steal more if he’s released from jail.

Irvin was taken into custody after asking questions about animals at a downtown Dallas aquarium. He is charged with six counts of animal cruelty and two counts of burglary. On the night of January 29th, Irvin waited until dark, jumped a fence, and cut the metal mesh of the monkey’s enclosure before taking them away. The monkeys, named Bella and Finn, were recovered by police the following day, along with multiple cats and pigeons, dead feeder fish, and fish food that had gone missing from the zoo earlier in January.

Irvin has been charged in connection to the escape of a clouded leopard named Nova, who was discovered missing on January 13th. A cut was found in her enclosure, but she was later found near her habitat. Irvin has also been linked to the cutting of an enclosure for langur monkeys, but hasn’t been charged in that.

In the days leading up to the emperor tamarin monkeys being taken, a man had been causing suspicion at the zoo, asking questions about moving and caring for the monkeys and the clouded leopard that had escaped. The man was later identified as Irvin, after police released a photo and video of him, which prompted a tip that led to the recovery of the missing monkeys.

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