The string of bizarre crimes at the Dallas Zoo has finally come to an end. After the Dallas Zoo issued a photo of the suspect from security footage, it caught the eye of churchgoers who recognized him from frequenting a church-owned property. An arrest was made last week after the suspect, Davion Irvin, visited the Dallas World Aquarium (DWA), and asked keepers about the animals’ management and routines. A keeper was immediately tipped off by his behavior and also recognized him from the wanted photo. DWA also houses Emperor tamarins among many other rainforest animals, including hundreds of free flighted birds.
Upon questioning, Mr. Irvin admitted he entered the Dallas zoo after hours to cut the fence and take the tamarins, then used the commuter train to travel back to Lancaster with the monkeys in tow. It is a short distance from the tamarin exhibit to the zoo perimeter, and then a short walk to the train station, which has a zoo stop across the street from the front entrance. Mr. Irvin also admitted to the attempted catnapping of the clouded leopard Nova, as well as cutting the langur fencing. It has not yet been determined if he has any connection with the intentional killing of the lappet-faced vulture, Pin. Mr. Irvin did make it clear, however, that he would continue to seek out animals to take upon release, as he is a self-proclaimed animal lover. He has now been charged with six counts of animal cruelty and two counts of burglary.
This string of incidents has rippled across the country. Several similar events have occurred within the same time frame, only adding to the mystery: 12 squirrel monkeys were stolen from a zoo in Louisiana, a Eurasian Eagle Owl got out of a vandalized exhibit at the Central Park Zoo in NYC, a pelican exhibit was vandalized at the Houston Zoo, and an Andean bear got out of its enclosure through a corner of fencing at the Saint Louis Zoo.
★ Owl who escaped NYC zoo after someone cut enclosure becomes local celebrity
★ A man was arrested in the theft of 12 squirrel monkeys from a Louisiana zoo, but the animals have yet to be found, chief says