The Dallas Morning News reported on Wednesday that the daughter of the pastor of the church next to the house called in the tip. The Family Center Church of God in Lancaster owns the boarded-up house the animals were found in.
The pastor’s daughter, Tonya Thomas, told the Morning News that she and members of her family recognized the man in the photos as someone who had attended the church before, leading them to call the police. According to Thomas, there had been issues with break-ins at the house before, even as recently as last weekend. A woman going by only the name Tonya, who also said she was affiliated with the Family Center church next to the house where the monkeys were found, provided NBC 5 with a similar account on its Tuesday night broadcast.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Dallas Zoo posted an update on the monkeys to its social media pages along with a picture of them. “Emperor tamarin monkeys, Bella and Finn, were so happy to snuggle into their nest sack here at the Zoo last night! Our veterinary and animal care teams have said, beyond losing a bit of weight, they show no signs of injury and both started eating and drinking almost immediately once the team completed health exams on Tuesday night. We will continue to monitor them closely, but for now, we're so glad they are safe and back with us,” the Facebook post read.
The Dallas Zoo has collected plenty of national headlines this week, including mentions in The New York Times, Washington Post, Slate and CNN. This incident is the latest in a series of odd occurrences for the zoo, which claims to be the largest in Texas. In January, Nova, the zoo’s clouded leopard, went missing for several hours after staff found its enclosure cut open. A week later, a 35-year-old lappet-faced vulture named Pin was found dead, the result of a wound detected by a necropsy.
“Emperor tamarin monkeys, Bella and Finn, were so happy to snuggle into their nest sack here at the Zoo last night!" – Dallas Zoo's Facebook pagetweet this
The zoo also explained in its social media post that the monkeys will need to clear a quarantine period before being allowed back into their usual habitat. The zoo also increased the reward it is offering for information that leads to the arrest and indictment of the person responsible for taking Bella and Finn from the zoo, from $10,000 to $25,000. The Dallas Police have said that no arrests have been made and that the investigation is ongoing.