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San Antonio Zoo touts its record of preventing animal escapes and thefts

Emperpor Tamarin monkeys.jpg
San Antonio Zoo
San Antonio Zoo's Emperor Tamarin monkeys

Three animals escaped or were stolen from the Dallas Zoo in January, and another died of a suspicious wound. San Antonio Zoo officials said they take steps to ensure that doesn't happen there.

Specifically, a Clouded Leopard escaped from its Dallas Zoo enclosure, which had been cut open. Days later two Emperor Tamarin monkeys were stolen from their enclosure at the zoo, which had also been cut open. All those animals were safely recovered. Zoo officials also said a vulture died.

Dustin Oliver, the vice president of experience at the San Antonio Zoo, said locals can have confidence the zoo here is a secure place.

"We're constantly running drills. We also have 24-hour coverage patrolling the zoo grounds. We also work very closely with our local law enforcement to ensure all our areas inside and outside of the zoo are secure, not only for the animals, but also for our guests and staff."

The zoo enclosures also pass the muster of several zoo-related professional accreditations.

Clouded Leopard.jpg
San Antonio Zoo
San Antonio Zoo's Clouded Leopard

Oliver said the San Antonio Zoo has a good track record of preventing animal thefts and escapes.

“There’s not been any escapes or thefts in recent memory, and I think part of that is accredited to how many drills we run and how well our team is prepared for those situations,” he said.

The Dallas Zoo's website reports the complex measures more than 100 acres. The San Antonio Zoo covers more than 50 acres.

Both zoos also reported they attract more than one million visitors every year.

No arrests have been made in connection with the incidents at the Dallas Zoo, police said. Zoo officials said their video security surveillance has been helpful to police. The zoo is also offering a $25,000 reward that leads to the arrest and indictment of those responsible.

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Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at brian@tpr.org and on Twitter at @TPRBrian