Man Accused of Stealing Zoo Monkeys Says He'd Do It Again

Davion Irvin of Dallas says he's an animal lover
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2023 2:00 AM CST
Dallas Zoo Suspect: If Released, I'll Steal More Animals
This image provided by Dallas County Jail shows Davion Irvin. Dallas police say Irvin, has been arrested, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, in the case of the two monkeys that were taken from the Dallas Zoo after he was spotted near the animal exhibits at an aquarium in the city.   (Dallas County Jail via AP)

The man suspected of stealing two monkeys from the Dallas Zoo told police he'd steal more animals if he's released from jail, according to court documents. Davion Irvin's reason for doing so? He said, according to the documents, that he's an animal lover. The 24-year-old was behind bars Tuesday on $25,000 bond; he's been charged with six counts of animal cruelty and two counts of burglary, the AP reports. Per the documents, Irvin confessed to a couple of the strange happenings lately at the Dallas Zoo:

  • He told police he was responsible for the cut in the enclosure that allowed a clouded leopard to escape, and that he wanted to take her but only had time to pet her before she escaped to the top of her enclosure.

  • He admitted taking the two emperor tamarin monkeys after that, and says he took them on the city's light rail after leaving the zoo and before arriving at the vacant house where he said he kept his animals.
  • Police say Irvin is also linked to the cutting of an enclosure for langur monkeys, none of which escaped; he has not been charged in that. Police also say that when the empty house where the other monkeys were found was searched, a number of other animals were found along with fish food that had gone missing from the zoo earlier in January, but was not reported stolen at the time.
As for the suspicious death of an endangered vulture at the zoo last month, that is still under investigation. At this point, Irvin has not been linked to it, the Dallas News reports. (Read more Dallas stories.)

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