Clouded Leopard escapes Dallas Zoo. Police currently searching for leopard. They should try using a laser pointer pic.twitter.com/kQmQuNBKMR
— Def Noodles (@defnoodles) January 13, 2023
UPDATE: Clouded leopard found after hours-long search at Dallas Zoo https://t.co/wmilOny5st
— Dallas Morning News (@dallasnews) January 13, 2023
The word leopard startled quite a few people who didn’t realize this was a 30-pound feline:
A missing clouded leopard was found safe at the Dallas Zoo late Friday afternoon, hours after its disappearance led the zoo to close.
Nova, the 4-year-old leopard, was reported missing from an enclosure authorities believe was intentionally cut open.
“Initial indications are she is not injured,” zoo spokeswoman Kari Streiber said. “She is being evaluated by our veterinary staff right now.”
Streiber said Nova was located on zoo grounds approximately 4:40 p.m., and was safely secured about 35 minutes later. Further updates on her status will be available Saturday, she said.
Dallas Zoo President Gregg Hudson said staff found a “suspicious opening” in the enclosure Nova shares with her sister, Luna, in the morning. Nova was no longer in the habitat.
“It was clear that this opening was not a habitat failure, it was not an exhibit failure and it wasn’t keeper error,” he said.
Sgt. Warren Mitchell, a Dallas police spokesman, confirmed police have opened a criminal investigation into the leopard’s disappearance…
The zoo stressed that the “very much nocturnal” cat, who weighs about 25 pounds, was not a danger to people. She also was not “a greater risk for pets” than other animals native to urban North Texas, the zoo said.
“This is intensely frustrating,” said Harrison Edell, the zoo’s executive vice president for animal care and conservation. “This is a cat of conservation concern that is not a pet. She is a critically important member of our family at Dallas Zoo. She means a lot to us.”
Edell said the staff checks enclosures multiple times a day, starting with a head count of every animal “first thing in the morning.”
He also said that the animals are very attached to a “home territory” or a space they know — and for Nova, that was the space immediately adjacent to her habitat. She and her sister are “attached at the hip,” he said…
Very happy Nova is safe again, and I hope the numbskull responsible for violating her enclosure is prosecuted to the full extent of the law. (Am I wrong to assume, from what I’ve read about Dallas, there’s about an 80% chance some moron thought they could score a high-value exotic pet for resale or bragging rights?)
The Dallas Zoo is closed today as it searches for Nova, a clouded leopard that escaped its enclosure.
Here’s a video the @DallasZoo produced on her and her sister, Luna.
— Andrea Lucia (@CBS11Andrea) January 13, 2023
And now it’s safe to share some of the twitter japery…
Just saw the thing about the missing leopard at the Dallas Zoo, and if I know anything about missing cats, it’s probably about five feet away, in a place that like three people could’ve sworn they already checked.
— 🦖 Rosco P. Soul Train 🦖 (@turrible666) January 13, 2023
Dallas Zoo, have you tried setting up a nice shelf with very precious breakable family mementos that you think is on too high for the cat to reach bc he will come back to prove you wrong https://t.co/3TyhcmKNip
— Mrs McG (@mrsmcglover) January 13, 2023
Dallas Zoo requesting donation of any and all Amazon boxes for scattering around the grounds as lures https://t.co/dj2otyiOkS
— kitsune, kinda tired (@TonyGreyfox) January 13, 2023
Me: makes joke about the Dallas Zoo losing a leopard.
My neighbor: your cats open sliding glass doors.
— Innuendo, the trashiest queer ever. (@twattisphere) January 13, 2023