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Two rare monkeys have disappeared from a zoo hit by a series of suspicious incidents in recent weeks. The pair of rare emperor tamarin monkeys are believed to have been stolen – days after a leopard escaped through an “intentional cut” in its enclosure and a vulture was mysteriously killed.

The dwarf monkeys, with whiskers resembling a white moustache, are native to South America.

The species can be found tropical rainforests and mountainous regions of Brazil, Bolivia and Peru.

Authorities launched a preliminary investigation into the latest incident at Dallas Zoo in the US state of Texas on Monday.

In a statement, Dallas Zoo said: “Dallas Zoo alerted the Dallas Police Department after the animal care team discovered two of our emperor tamarin monkeys were missing.

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“It was clear the habitat had been intentionally compromised.”

Officials at the 134-year-old zoo added: “Emperor tamarin monkeys would likely stay close to home – the Zoo searched near their habitat and across the Zoo grounds, and did not locate them.

“Based on the Dallas Police Department’s initial assessment, they have reason to believe the tamarins were taken.”

Dallas Police Department has since released an image of a man detectives want to speak to about the missing monkeys. 

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Dallas Zoo’s CEO Gregg Hudson revealed a $10,000 (£8,000) reward is on offer for information which leads to arrest and indictment. has approached Dallas Zoo for comment.