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UPDATE: Nova was found inside the zoo and has been safely returned to her enclosure. 

The Dallas Zoo has announced via Twitter that it is currently under a "code blue" because an incredibly rare clouded leopard is out of its enclosure.

The zoo went on to tweet that they are receiving help from the Dallas Police Department:

Dallas PD is onsite assisting with the search efforts. 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.

Of course, there are many on Twitter that is questioning whether or not a clouded leopard is as "non-dangerous" as the zoo claims.

It is estimated that there are less than 10,000 mature clouded leopards left in the world. The animals are, in my opinion, stunningly beautiful.

Photo by Frida Lannerström on Unsplash
Photo by Frida Lannerström on Unsplash

I do believe the Dallas zoo when they say the animal is non-dangerous, because these animals are solitary, nocturnal, and prefer to stay up in trees. I mean, I wouldn't recommend trying to pet or hug it if you came across one, despite its ability to actually purr like a housecat.

I think in all likelihood the animal is up in some other tree within the grounds of the zoo somewhere. I sincerely hope they are able to recover it without causing any harm or too much stress on the animal, and that any prey animals are safe as well. I am sure the zoo with access the situation and will modify the enclosure to ensure the animal stays safe inside its habitat.

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