By Josie August 9th, 2023
Seven baby spider monkeys were found at the Texas border – making a small dent in the $20 billion dollar illegal pet trade industry.
Spider monkeys are a monkey native to the tropical rainforests of Central and South America.
They have long, slender limbs and prehensile tails, which they adeptly use for swinging and navigating the forest canopy.
These primates exhibit a social structure, often forming tight-knit groups, and communicate using a variety of vocalizations.
US Border Patrol agents discovered seven spider monkeys inside a backpack.
The US fish and wildlife department took custody of the animals, though details about their condition remain undisclosed.
The primary threat to their survival is habitat destruction; vast tracts of rainforests are cleared for agriculture, logging, and urbanization.
Additionally, people often hunt spider monkeys for bushmeat or the illegal pet trade, further dwindling their numbers.
Their extinction would have devastating effects as they are primary fruit consumers and play a pivotal role in seed dispersal, ensuring forest regeneration.
According to estimations, the illegal pet trade is a $20 billion international business, which has quadrupled in the last 15 years.
- Economic Incentives - Exotic Appeal - Lack of Enforcement - Online Marketplaces