Dallas Zoo closes after losing track of leopard missing from exhibit
The Dallas Zoo has closed after losing track of one of its animals. The animal is Nova, a clouded leopard, which the zoo says is missing from her "exhibit."
"We have an ongoing situation at the Zoo right now with a Code Blue — that is a non-dangerous animal that is out of its habitat," the zoo said in a tweet. "One of our clouded leopards was not in its habitat when the team arrived this morning and is unaccounted for at this time."
UPDATE 1-13-2023: The leopard was found and has been dragged back into captivity. According to an announcement from the zoo, Nova was spotted near her habitat at approximately 4:40 pm, and was corraled by staff by 5:15 pm. A DPD spokesman said the fence surrounding their enclosure had a “suspicious opening."
According to CNN, the Dallas Police Department has been summoned to help find the cat and there's a SWAT team on site.
"Given the nature of these animals, we believe the animal is still on grounds and hiding," the zoo said. "Our focus right now is on locating the animal."
Clouded leopards are unique in that they are "arboreal," spending much of their time in trees.
Nova is one of two sisters, along with sibling Luna, who were transferred from the Houston Zoo, seen in this YouTube video which the zoo posted in March. She weighs about 20 to 25 pounds, which is not very big, and they are speculating that she is still on the grounds.
The most infamous Dallas Zoo escapee was Jabari, a gorilla who escaped in 2004 and was shot and killed by Dallas police.
In 2010, another gorilla named Tufani got out of her cage, but was found on zoo grounds, and 2011 saw two escapes: a chimpanzee named Koko, and a spider monkey, who were both recovered.
And in 2021, they lost a crow named Onyx that flew away during a training session; sadly, the bird was never found.