CALEXICO, Calif. (KGTV) — U.S. Border Patrol agents made a wild discovery after finding live baby spider monkeys hidden inside a car at the Calexico port of entry Monday morning.
According to CBP, officers came across a 29-year-old woman and a 31-year-old man trying to apply for entry into the U.S. from Mexico, and they were occupying a 2020 van.
Officials say an officer found an animal carrier hidden behind the rear seat with live monkeys inside during their first inspection, prompting them to move the vehicle for further examination.
That is when CBP officers reportedly found three live baby spider monkeys. The monkeys were recovered and placed into quarantine by USDA Veterinary Services until they are rehomed.
“Illegal smuggling of endangered species, such as spider monkeys, poses a grave threat to the ecosystem,” stated Roque Caza, Area Port Director for Calexico.
“CBP will continue to stop individuals involved in the unlawful, commercial trafficking and smuggling of wildlife.”
Border Patrol agents say the couple was detained and turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigators and Fish and Wildlife Services for further processing.