(UPI) Customs officers in Texas made an unusual discovery in a pickup truck attempting to cross the border from Mexico -- an endangered spider monkey.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Office of Field Operations said officers at the Hidalgo International Bridge referred a Ford F-150 pickup truck attempting to enter the country from Mexico for further inspection this week.
The officers searched the truck, which was being driven by a 23-year-old U.S. citizen from Pharr, Texas, and discovered the young monkey concealed inside the vehicle's center console.
A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent was summoned to the scene and identified the primate as an endangered spider monkey, a species native to the tropical forests of Central and South America, including southern Mexico.
The agent took custody of the monkey, which will be quarantined and examined by a veterinarian before being transferred to a new home. Customs officials said the animal might end up at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas.
"Finding this monkey is certainly unusual but not a first for our officers at Hidalgo," Port Director Carlos Rodriguez said. Our officers normally discover prohibited agriculture products, merchandise, currency, weapons and narcotics but on occasion they encounter people attempting to smuggle exotic animals as well.Copyright 2020 by United Press International