Over the weekend, an endangered vulture was found dead at the Dallas Zoo with an «unusual wound,» facility officials said Monday, the third suspicious incident there in less than two weeks.

Earlier this month, a clouded leopard escaped from its enclosure after authorities say it was intentionally cut down. Similar incisions were also found in the langur monkey’s habitat, although none of the animals escaped.

It is unclear if the death of Pin, a 35-year-old Lappet-faced Vulture, is related to these earlier incidents. In a statement Monday, the zoo said it had asked the Dallas Police Department to investigate the matter and had no further comment.

pin the vulture
pin the vultureDallas Zoo via KXAS

In the past 10 days, the zoo said, it has «substantially» increased security measures, including limiting access to outdoor enclosures and adding cameras and night guards. He also plans to offer a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and indictment, according to the statement.

“We want everyone to know how seriously we take the safety of our animals, our staff, and our campus in general,” the zoo said.

New star

Nova, a 3-year-old clouded leopard, fled his enclosure on January 13. Her escape, announced by the zoo as a «serious situation» shortly after 8 a.m., prompted a «code blue,» indicating a no dangerous animal was on the loose, and forced zoo officials to shut down the facility.

Zoo experts noted at the time that clouded leopards do not pose any danger to people. Still, authorities were unsure of the size of the cat, which turned out to be 25 pounds, and a police department SWAT team was dispatched to help capture her.

“To reassure some, if it has strayed off the ground, this animal does not pose a greater risk to pets than the native North Texas animals that roam the surrounding neighborhoods, but if you feel more comfortable bringing pets inside, please do it,” the zoo wrote in a Facebook post.

At 4:40 p.m., a «rogue» squirrel had alerted zoo staff to its «hidden hiding place,» about 100 yards from its habitat, the zoo said. Half an hour after that, they secured her and returned her to her compound, which she shares with her sister, Luna.

langur monkeys

The day after Nova’s escape, zoo officials said an incision appeared to have been made in its wire mesh enclosure.

The Dallas Police Department opened a criminal investigation and zoo staff showed investigators a similar intentional cut into the enclosure that houses the zoo’s langur monkeys, the department said.

None of the animals escaped and none were injured or appeared to be in any danger, the department said. A criminal mischief report was filed and investigators began working to determine if the two incidents were related, the department said.


The vulture, one of 6,500 on the planet, was found dead Saturday morning in the facility’s «Wilds of Africa» ​​habitat, according to the zoo’s statement. A veterinary team trying to determine the cause of death found «an unusual wound and injuries, indicating that this was not a natural death,» the zoo said.

In a Facebook post, the zoo said its animal care team was «heartbroken» by the death of the vulture, which spent most of its life on the premises and fathered 11 chicks.

“Given the recent incidents at the zoo, we alerted the Dallas Police Department,” the post read. «We cannot share many details until Dallas police have had more time to investigate this matter.»

In a statement Monday, the department said patrol officers and animal cruelty detectives responded and began conducting interviews and reviewing video surveillance, the agency said in a statement.

The department did not say if there was a link between the incidents.

Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Carolyn King Arnold tried to reassure residents, saying in a statement that «every measure» was being taken to protect zoo animals. She encouraged visitors to report suspicious activity to authorities.