Man arrested in Dallas Zoo monkey thefts says he'd steal more animals if released, court docs show
A man who police linked to several bizarre events at the Dallas Zoo, including the theft of two monkeys, told investigators he loves animals and that if he’s released from jail, he’ll steal more, new court documents show.
Davion Irvin, who remained jailed Wednesday on $25,000 bond, was arrested last week after asking questions at a downtown Dallas aquarium about animals there.
The 24-year-old Texas man is charged with six counts of animal cruelty and two counts of burglary in connection to the crime.
Irvin told police that on Jan. 29, he waited until dark, jumped a fence to get onto zoo grounds, cut the metal mesh of an enclosure and took the two emperor tamarin monkeys, according to arrest warrant affidavits. He then got on the city's light rail before walking to a vacant home where he said he kept his animals.
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After receiving a tip from the public, police found the monkeys on Jan. 31, the day after they were reported missing, at the empty home in a Dallas suburb about 15 miles south of the zoo.
Cats and pigeons were also in the home, in addition to dead feeder fish and fish food that had disappeared from a staff-only area of the zoo earlier in January but wasn't reported stolen at the time, according to arrest affidavits in the case.
A chain of bizarre events
Irvin's arrest came on the heels of a bizarre series of events that took place at the zoo over several weeks including another animal escape and another animal's death.
The first oddity took place on Jan. 13 when the zoo was shut down after Nova, a clouded leopard, vanished. She was found on zoo grounds and safely secured. Harrison Edell, executive vice president of animal care and conservation at the Dallas Zoo, noted there was a tear in the mesh of Nova's enclosure that morning.
The next day, on Jan. 14, Dallas police opened a criminal investigation and found that an intentional cut was made in the enclosures that house langur monkeys. No monkeys were missing or harmed. Detectives also determined the mesh in the leopard's enclosure had been purposely cut.
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And on Jan. 21, Pin, a 35-year-old endangered adult lappet-faced vulture, was found dead in its habitat. The zoo said a veterinary team found "an unusual wound and injuries, which pointed to this not being a natural death."
Is Irvin charged in all the incidents?
Irvin has been charged in two of the bizarre events and is linked to another, police said.
He also faces a burglary charge in relation to Nova's escape, court records show. Irvin told investigators that he’d wanted to take Nova but that he was only able to pet her before she got on top of her enclosure, his arrest affidavit said.
Police said they’ve linked Irvin to the cutting of an enclosure for the langur monkeys, but as of Wednesday, he had not been charged in connection to that crime.
Contributing: Associated Press
Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Davion Irvin, jailed in Dallas Zoo monkey theft, says he'd do it again