Spider monkeys, predominantly found in tropical rainforests, are vulnerable to extinction and were given to wildlife authorities
Texas border patrol agents made a surprising discovery on Thursday after they discovered seven spider monkeys in a backpack.
On Thursday, agents from Texas’s Fort Brown Station arrested an individual who was suspected of smuggling the monkeys into the US.
In a video posted on Facebook by the US’s Rio Grande valley sector border patrol, agents can be seen holding open a dark backpack with multiple holes. At the bottom of the backpack were seven baby spider monkeys huddled together.
“Aww, poor babies,” an agent can be heard saying.
The video then showed the monkeys in cages and noted that the animals were turned over to the US fish and wildlife department. Authorities have not yet disclosed details about the monkeys’ conditions.
“Extremely proud of our agents for stopping this wildlife smuggling attempt of these critically endangered animals!,” said the caption alongside the video.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, spider monkeys are predominantly found in tropical rainforests in eastern South America and in areas north of the Amazon river. The animals have been classified as vulnerable, as they face a high risk of extinction in the wild.
The Wildlife Conservation Society has listed the spider monkey as one of the 25 most threatened primates in the world due to habitat loss, fragmentation, hunting and the pet trade.
There are seven species of spider monkeys including white-bellied spider monkeys as well as red-faced spider monkeys. The species of the spider monkeys discovered by the Texas border patrol agents remain unknown.
The primates have distinct long limbs and tails akin to spider legs and live mostly off of fruits, leaves, nuts, seeds and sometimes insects.