The Dallas Zoo’s keeper claims he’s been plagued by safety issues for years
A former security officer at the Dallas Zoo claimed that he had been plagued by problems with the pet trade for years and that his security company advised guards not to confront intruders.
The unnamed man worked at the zoo for seven months in 2022, but told NewsNation he quit after being turned away by managers when he raised concerns about the safety of the animals, guests and staff.
He said the zoo had seen numerous repeat intruders during its work, and he suspected one of them was likely responsible for the spate of animal thefts and possible attempts the zoo has been dealing with over the past month.
Four incidents rocked the zoo in January, including the apparently deliberate release of a leopard, an attempted break-in into a monkey enclosure, the “suspicious” death of a buzzard and the theft of two tamarin monkeys, which were later discovered in the closet of an abandoned house nearby of the zoo.
Police released a photo of a man walking through the zoo eating a bag of Doritos, whom they want to identify and speak to about the incident. Dallas PD told DailyMail.com the man was not named as a suspect or a person of interest.
Police are investigating after two emperor monkeys were “deliberately” taken from their enclosure
The former security guard told NewsNation he wasn’t surprised when he heard about the security breaches at the Dallas Zoo.
“That upsets me quite a bit. Because you’re hired as security to protect this property and any creature there – human or animal,” he said.
“And the Dallas Zoo is a huge black market gold mine. Has always been.’
The man provided no concrete examples to back up his claims about the pet trade at the zoo.
Dallas PD told DailyMail.com there is no record of any animals being stolen from the zoo in recent years. The zoo was not responding to requests for comment at the time of publication.
Nonetheless, the former employee said the security firm was to blame for leaving the zoo vulnerable to theft and pointed to ten locations he described as vulnerable zoo entry points.
“Something has to be done and I’m not going to sit by and let this big security company get away with this stuff while animals and people are ultimately hurt.”
The unnamed man worked at the zoo for seven months in 2022 but says he quit after being turned away by managers raising concerns about the safety of the animals, guests and staff.
A search for the missing clouded leopard Nova (pictured) closed the Dallas Zoo on January 13 as police helped locate the animal
On January 21, a 35-year-old endangered vulture named Pin was found dead, with the zoo issuing a statement saying his death did not appear to be “natural”.
The man declined to clarify whether or not he believed the recent incidents could be an inside job.
“From what I’ve read, someone has failed to prevent this stuff.” he said.
“The people who are hired to prevent this stuff are failing at their job and it’s ultimately about safety.”
The zoo’s outside safety advisor – Gardaworld – did not respond to requests from DailyMail.com for comment.
“I hope the zoo will be safe again because this is a place people should appreciate for years to come,” said the former employee.
Dallas police are searching for this man who is believed to have been in the area when two monkeys were stolen from the zoo on Sunday
Yesterday, the Dallas PD followed an anonymous lead to an abandoned house south of the zoo in Lancaster, Texas, and discovered the missing emperor monkeys alive in a closet. They were safely returned to the zoo.
Zoo officials confirmed that the monkey’s enclosure appeared to have been broken into with a cutting tool.
Just days earlier, a similar cut was found on the enclosure for the zoo’s langur monkeys, and on January 13 the zoo was closed while staff searched for a clouded leopard that appeared to have escaped through an artificial opening. The leopard was eventually found at the zoo near its enclosure.
And on January 21, a 35-year-old endangered vulture named Pin was found dead, with the zoo issuing a statement saying his death did not appear to be “natural”.
The zoo’s president and CEO, Gregg Hudson, said the vulture suffered “a wound” and the “circumstances of death were unusual.”
The Dallas Police Department was alerted again, with the zoo admitting it had contacted authorities about “recent incidents.”
Police were called again to the Dallas Zoo scene Monday to investigate the disappearance of the two emperor monkeys
Police cars are pictured outside the Dallas Zoo as workers searched for the missing cloud leopard earlier this month
Ed Hansen, executive director of the American Association of Zoo Keepers, said he couldn’t remember a zoo that has faced similar incidents so frequently.
“Apparently someone really has a problem with the Dallas Zoo,” Hansen said.
Hansen, who described the Dallas Zoo’s reputation within the industry as “excellent,” said accredited zoos have double fencing and that a zoo as large as Dallas would have a security patrol.
But animals have escaped from exhibits at the Dallas Zoo before.
Most notably, in 2004, a 340-pound gorilla named Jabari jumped over a wall and went on a 40-minute rampage, injuring three people before police shot the animal.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11701809/Dallas-Zoo-guard-claims-plagued-security-issues-years.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 The Dallas Zoo’s keeper claims he’s been plagued by safety issues for years