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Suspect in disappearance of Dallas Zoo tamarin monkeys is arrested at an aquarium

Davion Irvin, 24, has been charged with six counts of cruelty to nonlivestock animals.
/ Source: NBC News

Police arrested a 24-year-old man in connection with the disappearance of two emperor tamarin monkeys from the Dallas Zoo, authorities said Friday.

Tips from the public led investigators to Davion Irvin, who was tracked down at the Dallas Aquarium near animal exhibits on Thursday, Dallas police spokesperson Kristin Lowman said in a statement.

As officers approached Irvin, he got on to a Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) train before he was taken into custody near the 1400 block of Pacific Avenue, police said.

The emperor tamarin monkeys were reported stolen from their habitats at the Dallas Zoo on Monday.

Police credited tips from the public with leading them to the monkeys, Bella and Finn, who were found in the closet of an empty home in nearby Lancaster on Tuesday. The animals were not harmed, officials said.

Their disappearance was the latest in a string of suspicious incidents at the zoo. Investigators found an intentional cut in their habitat and previously said they believed they were taken.

Irvin has been charged with six counts of cruelty to nonlivestock animals in the tamarin monkey case, according to Lowman.

The suspect was booked into custody at 11:39 p.m. CT Thursday and held in lieu of $25,000 bail, jail records showed.

It wasn’t immediately clear Friday morning if Irvin had hired or been assigned a lawyer.

Friday’s police announcement did not link this arrest to other recent suspicious incidents at the zoo.

On Jan. 21, a 35-year-old endangered vulture, Pin, was found dead with what authorities have described as an “unusual wound.” The animal’s cause of death has not been determined.

On Jan. 13, Nova, a 3-year-old clouded leopard, escaped her wire mesh enclosure after an incision was made in it, authorities have said. The cat, who the zoo said posed no danger to the public, was found later that day.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates