The Dallas Zoo Has Located A Clouded Leopard That Had Gone Missing After Escaping Its Enclosure

"Initial indications are she is not injured," the zoo said in a statement to BuzzFeed News Friday afternoon. "She is being evaluated by our veterinary staff right now."

On Friday, the Dallas Zoo announced it was closed for the day.

A holiday, question mark, you may be wondering. No. Stay at work. It's just that a leopard was on the loose.

"We have an ongoing situation at the Zoo right now with a Code Blue – that is a non-dangerous animal that is out of its habitat," the Dallas Zoo tweeted on Friday. "One of our clouded leopards was not in its habitat when the team arrived this morning and is unaccounted for at this time."

We have an ongoing situation at the Zoo right now with a Code Blue – that is a non-dangerous animal that is out of its habitat. One of our clouded leopards was not in its habitat when the team arrived this morning and is unaccounted for at this time.

Twitter: @DallasZoo

Fun!!!

"Dallas PD is onsite assisting with the search efforts," the Dallas Zoo tweeted again. "The Zoo is closed today as our teams work to find and recover the animal. Given the nature of these animals, we believe the animal is still on grounds and hiding. We will share updates and more information as soon as we can.

"Our focus right now is on locating the animal."

By Friday afternoon, the Dallas Zoo had done just that. In a statement to BuzzFeed News, the facility said Nova, the 4-year-old, 25-pound clouded leopard, was found near her original habitat around 4:40 p.m. local time.

"Initial indications are she is not injured," the zoo said. "She is being evaluated by our veterinary staff right now."

Harrison Edell, executive vice president of animal care and conservation at the zoo, told reporters early Friday that employees had found a tear in the mesh where Nova escaped her habitat.

"More likely than not when she's scared, she's going to climb a tree, stay out of our way, hunt some squirrels and birds, and hope not to be noticed," Edell said.

Another zoo executive, president Gregg Hudson, described the opening in Nova's enclosure as "suspicious," the Dallas Morning News reported. And Dallas police Sgt. Warren Mitchell told the newspaper that the department had opened a criminal investigation into the incident.

“It is our belief that this was an intentional act,” Mitchell said.

The zoo said it would provide additional updates about Nova's status on Saturday.

Clouded leopards have short legs and a small tail, according to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. "The coat is brown or yellowish-gray and covered with irregular dark stripes, spots and blotches," reads its site.

They prefer to live in lowland tropical rainforests, which is not Dallas, unfortunately. They are carnivores, but don't freak out; they typically prey on gibbons, macaques, slow loris, small deer, and wild boars.

The Dallas Zoo will be open Saturday; although areas near the clouded leopard's habitat may be closed, the zoo said.

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