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Criminal investigation opened after 2nd fence cut at Dallas Zoo

Oliver Helbig/Getty Images

(DALLAS) — The Dallas Police Department has opened a criminal investigation after finding a second fence cut inside an animal habitat at the Dallas Zoo.

Investigators discovered the second cut fence at a habitat for langur monkeys on Friday, the same day a clouded leopard escaped from its enclosure at the zoo after its fence was intentionally cut.

Despite the cut fence, no langurs escaped their habitat, appeared to be in danger or harmed, Dallas PD said in a press release.

Langurs are part of a large family of primates known as Cercopithecidae and can be found in Africa, India, East and Southeast Asia, according to the Endangered Primate Rescue Center.

Officials said they’re not sure if the two incidents are related but that an investigation is ongoing and a criminal mischief report has been filed.

The Dallas Zoo said that the leopard, named Nova, was located on Friday near her habitat, the same day she went missing.

Officials closed the zoo on Friday because Nova was missing, they said.

“Teams were able to safely secure her just before 5:15 p.m.,” the zoo tweeted Friday, adding that the leopard was undergoing evaluation but appeared uninjured.

Police and zoo officials believe the fence was “intentionally cut,” Dallas Police Sgt. Warren Mitchell told reporters during a press briefing on Friday.

“It was their belief and it is our belief that this was an intentional act. And so we have started a criminal investigation,” Mitchell said.

Clouded leopards are found in southeast Asia and China, and males grow to be about 50 pounds, according to the Smithsonian Institute. Females only reach about 25 to 35 pounds. In the wild, they eat monkeys, small deer and wild boars.

The zoo occupies 106 acres just south of downtown Dallas with over 400 species and 2,000 animals.

ABC News’ Meredith Deliso and Mark Osborne contributed to this report.

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