February 6, 2023

The Dallas Zoo was the speak of the city around the weekend after two seemingly intentional cuts were being produced in animal enclosures, one particular of which allowed a clouded leopard to escape its habitat.

Now that the animals are all accounted for and the zoo mentioned it is stepping up its security actions, the problem continues to be of who will be held accountable for the problems, and how.

Dallas law enforcement opened two investigations:

The 1st is for the lower in the fencing of the clouded leopard habitat, which zoo staff located Friday soon after they observed one particular of the around 25-pound cats was lacking. Nova, who turned a star on social media, was identified risk-free on zoo property that afternoon. A Dallas Zoo spokesperson claimed Tuesday that Nova had settled again into her regime with her sister, Luna.

The next is for a cut in the fencing of the langurs’ habitat uncovered a brief time later on. None of the tiny monkeys escaped or appeared to be harmed.

Police reported they did not know irrespective of whether the incidents are associated, and they said Tuesday that there were no updates in the investigations. The department has not responded to a Dallas Early morning Information open-records request to launch the incident stories.

If arrests do occur, the suspect or suspects will very likely experience a felony mischief charge or two.

What is criminal mischief?

Legal mischief handles a large array of assets problems.

Texas regulation describes the offense as an when a person, deliberately and devoid of the consent of the proprietor, damages or destroys home, tampers with assets creating “pecuniary loss or considerable inconvenience to the owner or a third particular person,” or helps make markings, this kind of as drawings, on the home.

The severity of the charge spans from Class C misdemeanor to first-diploma felony, relying on the value of the hurt.

Doable jail time starts at a Class B misdemeanor, when the loss is valued between $100 and $750. A conviction on that cost can guide to a sentence of up to 180 times in jail and a wonderful of up to $2,000.

When the problems is $2,500 to $30,000, the demand is a state jail felony and carries a sentence of 180 days to two a long time in point out jail and a wonderful of up to $10,000. And in the most-significant conditions, injury of extra than $300,000 is a initially-degree felony punishable by five to 99 several years or existence in jail and a fantastic of up to $10,000.

The worth of the weakened fencing at the zoo was not straight away apparent.

It’s probable other rates, this sort of as trespassing, could crop up.

Nova is the latest Dallas Zoo animal to get out. Here’s a glimpse at escapees about the years