Dallas Police arrested 24-year-old Davion Dwight Irvin in connection with the kidnapping of Tamarin monkeys from the Dallas Zoo.
Irvin was picked up near the Dallas World Aquarium after zoo staff recognized him from surveillance footage captured near the area where the monkeys disappeared.
The monkeys were later found in an empty church in Lancaster, where Irvin had also been seen. The church had been the site of a series of break-ins, during which birds, cats, and other small animals were found by the police.
Dallas Police are looking for the public’s help in identifying the pictured individual. Detectives are looking to speak with the man in regard to the two tamarin monkeys missing from the Dallas Zoo.
Anyone with information- call 214-671-4509. pic.twitter.com/VVvvHFAdgJ
— Dallas Police Dept (@DallasPD) January 31, 2023
Irvin was taken to Dallas police headquarters for questioning and was later booked into the Dallas County Jail on six counts of animal cruelty.
When the monkeys were found, they were in a closet, and the temperature inside the building was only 37 degrees.
Irvin was previously seen at the zoo, asking questions about a clouded leopard that had gone missing, as well as a vulture that was found with what appeared to be a stab wound.
Sources tell WFAA that Irvin was spotted by zoo employees prior to the monkeys being kidnapped in areas that are restricted to staff only.
We are thrilled beyond belief to share that our two emperor tamarin monkeys have been found. DPD located the animals early this evening, and called our team to come secure and transport the tamarins back to the Zoo. They will be evaluated by our veterinarians this evening. pic.twitter.com/bDd49d3uDc
— Dallas Zoo (@DallasZoo) February 1, 2023
The police are now investigating the possibility that Irvin is connected to all the incidents, including the break-ins at the empty church, the disappearance of the clouded leopard, and the stabbing of the vulture.
The arrest of Irvin highlights the importance of surveillance in protecting both animals and public places.
It is hoped that the ongoing investigation will uncover the full extent of Irvin’s involvement in these crimes and bring justice for the innocent animals that were impacted.