Leopard found at Dallas Zoo, escape questionable

This unadate image provided by the Dallas Zoo, a clouded leopard named Nova rests on a tree limb in an enclosure at the Dallas Zoo. Nova, a missing clouded leopard, shut down the Dallas Zoo on Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, as police helped search for the animal that officials described as not dangerous and likely hiding somewhere on the zoo grounds. (Dallas Zoo via AP)

OAN Sophia Flores
UPDATED 6:25 PM PT – Friday, January 13, 2023

The Dallas Zoo has announced that Nova, a 20–25-pound clouded leopard, has been found after escaping her enclosure.

The Zoo closed on Friday after the report of the missing animal. The Zoo issued a “Code Blue” emergency. A Code Blue occurs when a non-dangerous animal is unaccounted for. The Dallas Police Department joined Zoo officials in their search.

Dallas Police are investigating the situation after they determined that the leopard’s enclosure was intentionally cut open and not torn open by the cat.

Harrison Edell, the Dallas Zoo’s executive vice president for animal care and conservation, let the public know that Nova was not a threat to humans.

“While I wouldn’t put it past her to hunt squirrels or birds given the opportunity, she is absolutely not a danger to humans at all,” he said. “If you happen to see a cat that’s bigger than a housecat, but smaller than a bobcat, please call us.”

On Friday morning, zoologists discovered a tear in the mesh of her habitat. It was believed that she was found in a tree somewhere on Zoo grounds.

“We don’t think she has gone very far. She is likely to stay linked to home as she and her sister Luna are attached at the hip,” Edell explained.

Clouded leopards current conservation status is ‘vulnerable.’ There are approximately 10,000 in the world.

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