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Exotic animals seized during smuggling attempt in Brownsville

1 month 2 weeks 4 days ago Sunday, February 25 2024 Feb 25, 2024 February 25, 2024 2:38 PM February 25, 2024 in News - Local

Several exotic animals are being evaluated and cared for by staff at the Gladys Porter Zoo after they were recovered by officials at the border in a smuggling attempt.

"It has been a busy day, especially [Friday] when we were notified to get the monkeys. It was a 12-hour day for some of us," Associate Curator of Primates Roby Elsner said.

Agents had just tracked down someone who crossed the border illegally and found five Mexican Spider Monkeys and a Kinkajou inside their backpack.

The five Spider Monkeys are home to Mexico and parts of Central America, their native habitats; three of them were babies.

"Three are very young, so they're strictly on formula to emulate their mother's milk," Elsner said.

The other two are a bit older and are getting vegetables.

They're being kept at the zoo, not on exhibit, with the goal of monitoring their health and progress before deciding what to do next.

"There's a group of people that oversee the entire population of Mexican Spider Monkeys, so we'll get input from them, and we'll have discussions in-house to decide what we need to do," Elsner said.

Elsner says the zoo anticipates issues like these based on past smuggling events here at the border to make space and resources available.

Watch the video above for the full story.

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