BROWNSVILLE, Texas — U.S. Border Patrol agents made a surprising discovery in South Texas last weekend when they found a backpack with seven spider monkeys huddled inside.
A young person from Mexico was arrested in Brownsville after agents searched the backpack.
The Border Patrol's Rio Grande Valley Sector posted a video on Facebook showing the monkeys huddled inside a bag that appeared to have holes in it to allow the animals to breathe.
Spider monkeys are critically endangered and one of the most threatened primates in the world, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society.
"Extremely proud of our agents for stopping this wildlife smuggling attempt of these critically endangered animals!" the Facebook post reads.
"This case highlights the lengths smugglers will go to maximize profits with no regard for the lives of migrants or animals," said Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez.
This isn't the first time Texas agents have discovered spider monkeys at the border. In 2021, they found four of them hidden inside a duffle bag in Progresso. The 20-year-old woman was fined and those spider monkeys were returned to Mexico.
Spider monkeys are found in the tropical forests of Central and South America, including southern Mexico.