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Dallas Zoo mystery deepens as missing tamarin monkeys are found in closet of abandoned home

No arrests have been made in their disappearance, authorities said.

Two emperor tamarin monkeys who authorities believe were taken from the Dallas Zoo were found Tuesday inside a closet at an abandoned home, officials said.

A tip led authorities to the home in Lancaster, south of Dallas, where they discovered the animals shortly before 5 p.m., Dallas police said in a statement.

A photo posted by the department showed one of the animals inside the closet, perched on what appeared to be a section of chainlink fence.

Dallas Police, with the help of the Lancaster Police Department, located the two missing tamarin monkeys from the Dallas Zoo at an abandoned home in Lancaster.
Pictured is one of the animals still inside the closet of the house. 
The monkeys have been returned to the zoo.
One of two missing tamarin monkeys from the Dallas Zoo in a closet at an abandoned home in Lancaster, Texas.Dallas Police Dept via Twitter

No arrests have been made, and an investigation into their disappearance is ongoing, the department said.

The animals were returned to the zoo, and staff members will evaluate them Tuesday night, a zoo spokeswoman said.

The announcement came hours after the department asked for help identifying a person in connection with the missing animals.

Their disappearance was the latest in a series of suspicious incidents at the zoo. Investigators found an intentional cut in their habitat Monday and believe they were taken, the police department said.

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.

A similar cut was also found in the zoo's langur monkey habitat, police said. No animals escaped or were taken or harmed.

It isn't clear whether the incidents are linked. The zoo has tightened security measures, adding more overnight guards and cameras, and it offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and an indictment in the incidents, the spokeswoman said.

In a statement Tuesday, the president of the accreditation organization for the Dallas Zoo said that the group stood "squarely" with the facility and condemned "these acts of violence against the Zoo, its animals, and the entire Dallas community."

"We are anxious for the perpetrator or perpetrators to be apprehended and stopped, and we applaud and support the work of law enforcement professionals who are leading these investigations," said Dan Ashe, president of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums.