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Missing Dallas Zoo monkeys found by police

The two emperor tamarin monkeys had gone missing on Monday. Authorities believe they were intentionally taken.

DALLAS — The two emperor tamarin monkeys that were believed to have been taken from the Dallas Zoo have been found, zoo officials said.

Police said that the monkeys were found around 4:50 p.m. Tuesday inside a closet at an abandoned building in Lancaster based on a tip.

The vacant house had been the subject of a previous investigation involving exotic animals being kept at the location, police said.

Animal feces and a room containing pigeons were found at the house, police said. The monkeys were inside a closet in another bedroom. A water jug containing dead fish and several domestic cats were also found inside the residence.

The Dallas Zoo put out a Tweet Wednesday, showing the two monkeys back in their nest sack safe and sound. Other than a bit of lost weight, the animals showed no signs of injury, according to the zoo's vet and animal care teams.

Detectives also seized electronics at the location, police said, and animal cruelty detectives investigated the living conditions for the animals kept there. 

Investigators spoke with relatives of a possible suspect, police said, but the investigation is still ongoing. 

No arrests have been made as the investigation continues.

The Dallas Zoo said its crews responded and transported the monkeys back to the zoo. The monkeys will be evaluated by zoo veterinarians.

On Monday morning, Dallas Zoo crews discovered that the two monkeys were missing from their habitat and that it appeared their habitat was "intentionally compromised."

According to the zoo, crews had searched the monkeys' habitat and the zoo grounds but did not locate them. Dallas police were called in to assist and believed through an initial investigation that the monkeys were taken, according to the zoo. 

Dallas police said that employees reported the monkeys' enclosure had been cut open.

The police department on Tuesday released an image of a person that detectives wanted to speak to in regards to the missing monkeys.

The missing emperor tamarin monkeys were the fourth suspicious event to have occurred at the zoo within just a month.

On Jan. 21, an endangered vulture was found dead from a "suspicious" wound, which is under investigation.

The police department is also investigating fencing that appeared to be intentionally cut at the habitats for the clouded leopards and Langur monkeys. One of the clouded leopards escaped on Friday, Jan. 13, and was eventually found on the zoo grounds.

Meanwhile, across the region, the Fort Worth Zoo has confirmed that it has increased patrols of its facilities both during the day and night in light of the issues at the Dallas Zoo. In addition to 24/7 video surveillance, patrols will be checking perimeter fencing, back-of-house areas and habitat areas.

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