‘No monkey business, please’: Woman caught trying to smuggle spider monkeys across the border

The monkeys are considered endangered under the Endangered Species Act

Undeclared spider monkeys intercepted by CBP officers at Progreso International Bridge. (Images from U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents stopped a woman who attempted to smuggle several spider monkeys into the country.

On Dec. 30, 2021, the woman, a 20-year-old U.S. citizen, attempted to enter the United States at the Progreso International Bridge. While inspecting her vehicle, CBP officers found four spider monkeys hidden inside a duffle bag.

CBP seized the spider monkeys and issued the woman a penalty.

The spider monkeys, considered endangered under the Endangered Species Act, were returned to Mexico, CBP said.

“While conducting their inspections, our officers will often encounter a myriad of prohibited agriculture products,” said Progreso Port Director Walter Weaver. “Sometimes these encounters yield hidden exotic animals, such as in this case.”

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About the Author:

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team as a community associate producer in 2019. During her time in H-Town, she's covered everything from fancy Houston homes to tropical storms. Previously, she worked at Austin Monthly Magazine and KAGS TV, where she earned a Regional Edward R. Murrow award for her work as a digital producer.