Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Man Arrested for Smuggling 18 Titi Monkeys in His Socks

Weird Stories: 18 Monkeys Smuggled into Mexico City Airport


The Tiny Titi Monkey
A man was found with no less than 18 monkeys inside his clothing, attempting to smuggle them into Mexico.  A Mexican citizen, Roberto Sol Cabrera, arriving from Lima, Peru was arrested at Mexico City's international airport.  The discovery was made after a random check was conducted.  He had put the 18 Titi monkey's in a waist girdle.  What tipped the police off was that the man was acting nervously.

After questioning the man said, originally he had put the monkeys in his luggage.  He later removed them, he said, to protect them from X-rays” when going through customs.  Cabrera had originally placed the monkeys in socks inside the luggage.  Sadly two of the animals died before the discovery was made.

What is unique about Titi monkey is that they are found in South America and are a protected endangered species.  To own them requires a possession permit.  The permit is pretty pricey, which is a far cry from what Cabrera said he had paid for them.  He confessed to paying simply $30 per monkey.  In the underground wild species trade, these Titi monkeys will fetch a cool $775 up to $1,550 per monkey.

According to an international wildlife trade monitoring network named Traffic, wild animal trafficking is a serious problem in Mexico.  Adrian Reuter, a representative for the group, said:

“The reasons are two: one, because Mexico is an important route for those who want to smuggle animals into the US, and the other, because, as in other countries of Latin America, there is a deep-rooted tradition of having wild animals as pets."

The remaining monkeys will be returned to proper authorities who will send the monkeys back and reintroduce them into the wild.  "We hope".  [knowing the rife corruption in Mexico, it's a wonder that the authorities themselves won't sell the monkeys on the underground, but you didn't hear that from me, cuz I ain't one to gossip]

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