Man Caught Smuggling Monkeys Under Clothes

Rare titi monkeys were held around his waist
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2010 2:50 PM CDT
Man Caught Smuggling Monkeys Under Clothes
Endangered titi monkeys are seen in bags, in a box in this July 16 photo from Mexico's Public Safety Departmen   (AP Photo/Public Safety Department)

In what may be one of the weirdest airport security busts of all time, Mexican police have arrested a man caught trying to smuggle 18 rare titi monkeys through customs in a girdle around his waist. The tiny animals were each kept inside a sock. The man said the monkeys had made the trip in his luggage, but that on arrival he’d stuffed them under his clothes to “protect them from X-rays.”

Police say the man was behaving “nervously” as he went through customs, so they searched him and found his belt of monkeys. Two of them were already dead. Titi monkeys hail from South America, and are protected by international endangered species treaties. But such rare animals are often trafficked through Mexico, experts tell the BBC, in part because Mexicans have a tradition of keeping wild animals as pets. (Read more monkeys stories.)

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