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Recently, the Dallas Zoo lost, then thankfully found, an extremely rare clouded leopard named Nova. She was found near her enclosure unharmed and was returned to her own space that she shares with her sister Luna.

How could Nova get out? It appears that she was intentionally let out:

Officials said they found a tear in the mesh in the zoo’s two-story clouded leopard enclosure. Investigating further, they found Luna, a 3- or 4-year-old clouded leopard, safely in her habitat. But Nova, her sister, was gone.

In addition to the intentional tear in the leopard's fencing, the Dallas Zoo also found tears in the Langur monkey enclosure, but no monkeys escaped.

Things could have been much worse if Nova had gone further, or if the monkeys had left their space. The results could have been really tragic.

Unfortunately, something tragic has happened since:

And it appears that the vulture was intentionally killed.

Dallas police say the male lappet-faced vulture, named Pin, was found dead in its enclosure Jan. 21. They are investigating the bird's death as suspicious, and a necropsy will be conducted on its body.

Anyone arrested could face felony charges for animal cruelty, police said.

So what the heck is going on at the zoo? Is it a dissatisfied and psychotic employee? Is it some type of extremist making some esoteric political statement? A future serial killer? What on earth is going on?

We can't know yet and perhaps we never will. However, the Dallas Zoo has installed more security cameras and has implemented more overnight patrols, so hopefully, these incidents stop, or if they don't stop, the person responsible is captured. I, like most people, love and respect our animal friends and it breaks my heart anyone would want to harm these rare and beautiful creatures.

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