A dozen squirrel monkeys were stolen from a Louisiana zoo on Saturday, less than two days before a pair of monkeys were stolen from the Dallas Zoo, authorities say.

The person who stole the animals in Louisiana broke into Zoosiana in Broussard, a town about 7 miles southeast of Lafayette, just before midnight and stole the animals from a squirrel monkey exhibit, the zoo said in a statement. facebook post.

“This is a very sad situation, obviously, we are heartbroken,” said Matt Oldenburg, Zoosania’s general manager. told NBC affiliate KLAF of Lafayette.

The zoo’s veterinarian and animal care team inspected the remaining monkeys and determined that «there are no other apparent issues affecting their health or well-being.»

a squirrel monkey
A squirrel monkey.Jean-Francois Monier/AFP via Getty Images file

Zoo officials are working with local, state and federal agencies to investigate the theft, according to the Facebook post. Broussard Police Chief Vance Olivier told KLAF that authorities are reviewing surveillance footage from around the zoo to try to locate a suspect, who will face a theft charge.

The theft occurred less than two days before the pair of emperor tamarins were reported missing from their enclosure at the Dallas Zoo in what investigators believed was a robbery. Those monkeys were found Tuesday in the closet of an abandoned house in Lancaster, a city about 16 miles south of Dallas. The monkeys were returned to the Dallas Zoo, no arrests have been made and an investigation is underway into the animals’ disappearance, the department said.

The theft of the monkeys in Dallas was the latest in a series of suspicious events to occur at the zoo: A 35-year-old endangered vulture was found dead there on January 21 with what authorities described as «an unusual wound «.

Earlier this month, a clouded leopard escaped its enclosure after it was intentionally mowed down, according to authorities, who said the langur monkey’s habitat area was also mowed down, but none of those animals escaped. The leopard was eventually captured and returned to its enclosure.

A zoo spokesman said earlier that it has beefed up security by adding more night guards and cameras. The zoo also offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and indictment in the incidents, according to the spokesperson.

A spokesman for the Dallas Police Department told NBC News that the agency is aware of the theft of the monkeys in Louisiana and is «going to be part of the ongoing investigation.»

A spokesman for the Broussard Police Department could not immediately be reached for comment.

Squirrel monkeys are native to South America and have an average lifespan of 21 years. according to Animal Diversity Web, an online database maintained by the University of Michigan. They live in groups of up to 300 monkeys, «with the females forming the core of the group,» according to the database, which adds that they can easily live in captivity and were once sold as pets.

Under Louisiana state law, keeping monkeys as pets is illegal. according to the Animal Legal and Historical Center at Michigan State University.