When detaining a migrant last weekend who was carrying a backpack containing seven spider monkeys, U.S. Border Patrol officials made an unexpected find, according to federal authorities.
When a Mexican child was detained on Sunday in Brownsville, Texas, which is near the U.S.-Mexico border, agents discovered the monkeys, according to a statement from the authorities. The monkeys could be seen gathered inside a sack that looked to have holes in it to allow the animals to breathe in a video that the Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector uploaded on Facebook.
The Facebook post adds, “Extremely proud of our agents for stopping this wildlife smuggling attempt of these critically endangered animals!”
The traveler was detained, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service received the monkeys, which are native to Central and South America. The state of the animals was not disclosed by the authorities.
Wildfire Conversation Society
According to the Wildlife Conservation Society, spider monkeys are one of the top 25 most vulnerable primates in the world and are thought to be severely endangered.
The Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez remarked, “This case highlights the lengths smugglers will go to maximize profits with no regard for the lives of migrants or animals.”
Exotic animal smuggling attempts are rather typical in the US. 29 Amazon parrot eggs were taken from a smuggler at Miami International Airport earlier this year. 26 of the 29 eggs were successfully hatched by the Rare Species Conservatory Foundation, and 24 of the 26 chicks lived.
Federal prosecutors accused eight people of bringing endangered long-tailed macaques into the country last November. In California, a guy admitted guilt to importing more than 1,700 wild animals into the US from Mexico last August.