A small monkey of an endangered species was discovered by Customs and Border Protection agents (CBP) when he was smuggled in a van that on Tuesday June 23 crossed the border from Mexico to the United States.

The animal had been hidden in the center console of a pick up Ford F-150 to enter it through the Reynosa-Hidalgo International Bridge, from Tamaulipas to Texas.

The vehicle was driven by a 23-year-old US citizen based in Pharr, Texas, who could face smuggling charges.

The changuito was delivered for safekeeping to the Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) that after examining it, determined that it is a Spider monkey, a endangered specie in accordance with US law and international organizations for the conservation of nature.

This primate of the Ateles species is one of the so-called monkeys of the New World that lives in tropical forests of Veracruz and southeastern Mexico, in Central America and in some regions of Panama.

« Finding this monkey is certainly unusual, but it’s not the first time, » he said. Carlos Rodriguez, CBP director at Hildago / Pharr / Anzalduas. « Our officers typically discover prohibited agricultural products, merchandise, currency, weapons, and narcotics, but sometimes they encounter people who also try to smuggle exotic animals. »

The spider monkey detected at the Texas border was quarantined pending its final destination. The authorities plan to hand it over to Brownsville Gladys Porter Zoo.

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