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Dallas zoo is forced to shut down after LOSING its clouded leopard Nova – which could be hiding somewhere on the grounds

  • Small clouded leopard Nova is missing from her enclosure at the Dallas Zoo
  • Officials said the animal, weighing between 20 to 25lb is ‘not dangerous’ and likely hiding on zoo grounds
  • The search inside Texas’ largest zoo was focused on scouring trees, which clouded leopards like to climb

A missing clouded leopard shut down the Dallas Zoo on Friday as police helped search for the animal that officials described as not dangerous and likely hiding somewhere on the zoo grounds.

The small cat, named Nova, weighs about 20 to 25lbs, said Harrison Edell, executive vice president of animal care and conservation at the Dallas Zoo. The search inside Texas‘ largest zoo was focused on scouring trees, which Edell said clouded leopards like to climb.

The zoo tweeted that the missing cat, named Nova, was a ‘serious situation,’ but Edell said the animal posed no threat to humans.

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‘If anything, she’s real nervous and afraid of people,’ Edell said.

The search for missing clouded leopard Nova shut down the Dallas Zoo on Friday as police helped search for the animal that officials described as not dangerous and likely hiding somewhere on the zoo grounds

The search for missing clouded leopard Nova shut down the Dallas Zoo on Friday as police helped search for the animal that officials described as not dangerous and likely hiding somewhere on the zoo grounds

He did not say how the animal escaped its enclosure, but caretakers had discovered a tear in the mesh of the enclosure, Fox29 News reported. 

Another clouded leopard at the zoo, Nova’s sister named Luna, was still in its habitat. He said Nova is very attached to her sister and her territory, and expects that the animal did not go very far.

On Friday, the Texas zoo tweeted that they were closed due to a ‘serious situation.’ ‘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 zoo posted in a tweet. 

 ‘One of our clouded leopards was not in its habitat when the team arrived this morning and is unaccounted for at this time.’

Officers from the Dallas Police Department were assisting in the search.

Animals have escaped enclosures from the Dallas Zoo before. Most notably was in 2004, when a 340lb gorilla named Jabari jumped over a wall and went on a 40-minute rampage that injured three people before police shot and killed the animal.

The animals are categorized as ‘vulnerable’ due to its habitat loss and poaching, according to the International Union for the Conservation. 

There are 10,000 clouded leopards left in the wild across southeast Asia. They are small in stature and typically weigh between, 24 and 44 pounds, according to the WWF.

The zoo tweeted that the missing cat, named Nova, was a 'serious situation,' but Edell said the animal posed no threat to humans. Police have now joined the search for the cat

The zoo tweeted that the missing cat, named Nova, was a ‘serious situation,’ but Edell said the animal posed no threat to humans. Police have now joined the search for the cat

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