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The missing Dallas Zoo leopard has been found. Police are still investigating

A clouded leopard sits on a log in its exhibit
Dallas Zoo
Nova, a clouded leopard, sits perched in the Dallas Zoo. Zoo officials said the animal went missing Friday.

Nova, a 25-pound clouded leopard who went missing from the Dallas Zoo early Friday, has been found.

The zoo announced the animal was found near its enclosure around 4:40 p.m. CT, and she was secured shortly before 5:15.

Zoo officials closed the facility all day as staff members tried to locate the missing 25-pound cat.

Police opened a criminal investigation into Nova’s temporary disappearance after it appeared the animal’s mesh enclosure was intentionally cut.

The Dallas Police Department arrived at the zoo with a SWAT team to assist shortly after the animal was identified as missing early Friday.

By Friday afternoon, police said it appeared the fence to the leopard’s enclosure had been cut open.

"Investigators had come out and when they looked at the area where the leopard was — the clouded leopard — it was their belief and it is our belief that this was an intentional act,” said Sgt. Warren Mitchell, a spokesperson for the Dallas Police Department. “And so we have started a criminal investigation."

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Katherine Hobbs
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