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December 29, 2007

Smuggling Monkeys

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/bizarre/5406254.html

Dec. 27, 2007, 9:27AM
Monkey stashed in plane passenger's hat dies

NEW YORK — A small monkey stashed in a man's hat during a flight to New York has died, but federal health authorities don't know why.

The fist-sized tamarin showed no signs of illness during a quarantine period, Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spokeswoman Shelly Diaz said Wednesday. The agency had lifted the quarantine and was trying to find the animal a permanent home when it died, she said.

The primate was seized as its owner got off a plane at LaGuardia Airport on Aug. 7. It apparently escaped detection during a flight from Lima, Peru, and a stopover in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The forest-dwelling creature was spotted after it crept out and perched on its owner's ponytail during the flight to New York.

The owner was questioned and released. He told authorities he didn't realize the monkey's voyage was illegal.

I had a feeling this guy was from Peru as soon as I saw the headline. In the “eyebrow of the jungle?, you can buy any monkey you want for around 50 soles ( about $16.00). Although it’s illegal, it’s very easy to purchase a pocket monkey, a squirrel monkey, or even a spider monkey in the Manu Nacional Reserva in the Amazon rain forest. But getting them back into the U.S. is the tricky part. This guy apparently got it through Jorge Chávez in Lima and then cleared customs with it in Fort Lauderdale by hiding the monkey under his hat and walking through the metal detector with it sitting on his head.

No one noticed the monkey until it crawled out from under his hat on the flight from Lauderdale to NYC. They confiscated it when he landed in LaGuardia. He told authorities he didn’t realize it was illegal and they didn’t even charge him with a crime. All of this happened back in August. The update to the story is that the monkey was placed in quarantine back in August, but then died over the holidays. Good job, retard.

http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=local&id=5548600&ids=55488554

Posted by Rob Kiser on December 29, 2007 at 4:00 AM

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