Dallas Zoo leopard reunites with sister after escape, no injuries found, officials say

Dallas police are still investigating who may have helped Nova escape

This unadate image provided by the Dallas Zoo, a clouded leopard named Nova rests on a tree limb in an enclosure at the Dallas Zoo. Nova, a missing clouded leopard, shut down the Dallas Zoo on Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, as police helped search for the animal that officials described as not dangerous and likely hiding somewhere on the zoo grounds. (Dallas Zoo via AP) (Uncredited)

DALLAS, Texas – A clouded leopard that was captured after escaping its enclosure at the Dallas Zoo has reunited with her sister and received the all-clear from veterinary staff on Saturday, zoo officials said.

Nova was captured just before 5:15 p.m. Friday after leading zoo employees and Dallas police on a day-long search.

Her disappearance prompted a temporary closure of the zoo as search crews canvassed the area. It wasn’t until the late afternoon hours that the 25-pound leopard was found on zoo grounds near her original habitat.

During a press conference late Friday, police said they believe the fence on Nova’s enclosure was “intentionally cut,” leading to her escape. Police have since launched a criminal investigation, but no arrests have yet been made.

The zoo reopened on Saturday to the public and employees said Nova was perched up on a high branch when she was greeted by visitors.

Nova “has settled right back into her routine,” according to zoo officials.

Anyone who may have more information on how Nova escaped her enclosure is urged to call 911.

We’ll bring more updates to this story as they become available.

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About the Author:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.