Suspected Dallas Zoo thief admits to stealing animals and wants take more, per affidavits

The suspect, who told police he "loved animals," faces six animal cruelty charges.

Updated: February 8, 2023 - 8:59am

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The man who faces charges connected to several incidents at the Dallas Zoo admitted to stealing two tamarin monkeys and he told police he wants to return to the zoo to steal more animals, according to arrest warrant affidavits.

Davion Irvin, who told police he "loved animals," said he waited until nightfall on Jan. 29 to cut the metal mesh around the monkey exhibit, where he went in and took them, according to affidavits obtained Monday by The Dallas Morning News.

The first major incident in a series of suspicious activities at the zoo began on Jan. 13, when a clouded leopard disappeared and was found unharmed several hours later. Irvin said he wanted to take the leopard, but he "could only manage to pet it" because the cat jumped to the top of the enclosure, the affidavits state.

Officials at the zoo later discovered the langur monkey enclosure was cut, but the monkeys were still in the exhibit. Shortly thereafter, an endangered vulture died unusually, but police are still investigating the death.

Just over a week after the vulture died, two emperor tamarin monkeys were stolen but found alive on Jan. 31 the Dallas suburb of Lancaster in a home described by officials as being in "extreme poor condition."

Irvin was arrested after a visit to the Dallas World Aquarium, where he asked employees about the monkeys there, per an affidavit.

Irvin is currently being held on $25,000 bond in the Dallas County Jail where he faces six counts of animal cruelty and two burglary counts after he was arrested last week, according to jail records