Sunday, July 21, 2024
HomeWorldAdorable baby monkeys are battling for life in Texas zoo after being...

Adorable baby monkeys are battling for life in Texas zoo after being smuggled across border

  • Gladys Porter Zoo is caring for baby spider monkeys seized from smugglers
  • Mexican spider monkeys were placed on the endangered species list in 2020

A Texas zoo is struggling to care for spider monkeys seized along its southwestern border and is now seeking public support to keep them alive.

At least 19 baby Mexican spider monkeys and a howler monkey have found refuge at the Gladys Porter Zoo in the border city of Brownsville since March.

The zoo, which is home to another 1,500 species, had deployed incubators to care for a number of spider monkeys that were barely showing vital signs after being discovered in backpacks and hidden in vehicles.

“This is deliberate smuggling,” Dr. Pat Burchfield, CEO and executive director of Gladys Porter Zoo, told Border Report.

Burchfield, who spent 50 years at the zoo, was annoyed by the way smugglers have gotten their hands on the primates, which are native to the forests of Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico.

READ ALSO  Fans guess which A-List star ‘called in sick’ on Kim Kardashian – after Chloe Sevigny was drafted in last minute for controversial Variety Actors on Actors interview

As of 2020, they are considered endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Gladys Porter Zoo, located in the Texas border town of Brownsville, has opened its doors to 19 baby Mexican spider monkeys seized by federal authorities in smuggling incidents

One of three spider monkeys intercepted by U.S. Border Patrol agents at a checkpoint in Falfurrias, Texas, in March

One of three spider monkeys intercepted by U.S. Border Patrol agents at a checkpoint in Falfurrias, Texas, in March

“And the sad part about it is that the baby spider monkeys killed the mother,” he said. “And the fact that we have 19, how many others have crossed the border unnoticed.”

Zoo staff hand-feed the baby monkeys every three hours with syringes. The animals are placed in incubators that provide heat to their bodies to keep them alive.

Mexican transnational cartels are increasingly involved in spider smuggling, part of the illegal smuggling of exotic pets, which according to Burchfield, generates $7 million to $20 million annually worldwide.

“Now we have major crime organizations trafficking in animals,” he said. ‘Wildlife trafficking has become a major crime worldwide.’

Burchfield estimates that sales of spider monkeys can fetch up to $8,000 each from people who consider them “cute.”

Zoo must keep monkeys away from its 1,500 species for fear they could transmit parasites and diseases

Zoo must keep monkeys away from its 1,500 species for fear they could transmit parasites and diseases

Gladys Porter Zoo cares for 19 Mexican spider monkeys and two howler monkeys seized by federal authorities, including border agents, along the Texas-Mexico border

Gladys Porter Zoo cares for 19 Mexican spider monkeys and two howler monkeys seized by federal authorities, including border agents, along the Texas-Mexico border

Two of three monkeys found in a vehicle stopped at a checkpoint in Falfurrias in April

Two of three monkeys found in a vehicle stopped at a checkpoint in Falfurrias in April

In April, U.S. Border Patrol agents seized three spider monkeys dressed in black clothing while searching a vehicle at a checkpoint in Falfurrias.

READ ALSO  Heather Locklear’s father Bill dies aged 94 as star shares moving tribute to beloved parent and ‘love of my life’

In March, 26-year-old Bridiana Mendoza was about to enter the United States with her three children when border agents stopped her at the Veterans International Bridge in Brownsville and discovered six spider monkeys in her purse and backpack.

Mendoza admitted that she was offered $7,000 to transport the monkeys to Houston.

Just weeks before her arrest, CBP officers found two howler monkeys in a vehicle driven by Jesus Arguello, 29, on the Brownsville & Matamoros International Bridge.

Currently, all 19 spider monkeys are kept separate from other animals at the zoo, for fear they could transmit parasites and diseases, including human diseases.

The zoo has contacted other zoos for help and has taken an initiative GoFuneMe account to buy incubators and create more outdoor enclosures while we continue to care for the monkeys.

Although the monkeys can be legally purchased, Burchfield suggested they are not the ideal choice for keeping as pets as they are more likely to bite as they get older and are not intended to be kept in the home.

WATCH VIDEO

DOWNLOAD VIDEO

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE
- Advertisment -

RECENT POSTS

- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -