Clouded leopard who escaped at Dallas Zoo is found after enclosure was cut, police say


Edel said Nova was probably hunting squirrels and birds on Friday.Edel said Nova was probably hunting squirrels and birds on Friday.Edel said Nova was probably hunting squirrels and birds on Friday.

A missing clouded leopard was found safe Friday afternoon after escaping. Hours earlier from its Dallas Zoo enclosure, zoo officials announced.

“He was located very close to the original habitat and teams were able to secure him just before 5:15 p.m.,” the zoo tweeted.


Police launched a criminal investigation after Nova, the clouded leopard.

Dallas police Sgt. Warren Mitchell said on Friday.

The incident, described as “a serious situation,” prompted the zoo to close for the day, but officials said the animal was not dangerous.

“We have an ongoing situation at the zoo with Code Blue – a non-endangered animal out of its habitat,” the zoo tweeted Friday morning.

Nova likely escaped from what zoo officials initially described as a tear in the mesh enclosure she shared with her sibling Luna.

Zoo officials don’t think Nova will get far because she’s tight with Luna, who is still in the habitat.

Harrison Edel, executive vice president of animal care and conservation at the Dallas Zoo, said Nova likely hid in a tree after escaping.

Police initially sent a SWAT team to the zoo because they were unsure of the cat’s size, Mitchell said.

Nova and Luna arrive in Dallas

Nova was born in November 2019 alongside Luna at the Houston Zoo. On her first birthday, before the Leopards moved to Dallas. The Houston institution described Luna as extroverted and Nova as reserved.

“Nova is a bit more alert, keeping an eye on her surroundings,” it said in a blog entry

Both cubs were trained to obey handlers’ commands to return, the Houston Zoo said in 2020.

n Zoo spokeswoman Jessica Reyes said Nova and Luna were sent to the Dallas Zoo in July 2021 based on recommendations. By the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to ensure a genetically diverse population of animals in zoos and aquariums.

The smallest of the ‘big cats’

Clouded leopard weigh between 20 and 25 pounds and pose no danger to humans, Edel said. They are the world’s smallest wild “big cats” (tigers, lions, jaguars, leopards, cheetahs and cougars).

The animals live in the cloud forests of Southeast Asia and are one of the oldest cat species. According to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. The clouded

On March 18, 2004, a 350-pound gorilla escaped its enclosure at the 106-acre Dallas Zoo’s Wilds of Africa exhibit. Injuring four people before being shot dead by police.

According to zoo records obtained by the Dallas Morning News in the following days. Two teenage boys standing on a trail overlooking the gorilla exhibit threw ice or rocks at Jabari.

The 13-year-old gorilla escaped from his walled compound and went on a rampage. Snapping a baby with his teeth and attacking three others before officers stopped him.

A tranquilizer used by zoo staff jammed the gun, according to records. And police opened fire when Jabari was within 15 feet of officers with a pair of children’s sandals in her hand. The newspaper said, citing those records.


River’s Herd, then 3, was seriously injured when bitten and scratched by the gorilla.

The child told his mother after the attack that Jabari “tried to eat his head,” his father told NBC News at the time.

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