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Man Caught Smuggling MONKEYS In His Clothes At Mexico Airport

First Posted: 07/20/10 09:45 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 06:05 PM ET

Titi Monkey
Photo of a Stephen Nashs titi monkey or, callicebus stephennashi, one of two new species of titi monkeys that was discovered in Brazil's Amazon rainforest.

MEXICO CITY — A man with a mysterious bulge under his T-shirt was stopped, searched and detained at Mexico City's international airport after authorities found 18 tiny endangered monkeys in a girdle he was wearing.

The Public Safety Department said in a statement Monday that 38-year-old Roberto Cabrera arrived on a commercial flight Friday from Lima, Peru, when authorities noticed the bulge and conducted a body search.

The department says Cabrera was carrying the 6-inch (15-centimeter) titi monkeys in pouches attached to the girdle. Two of the monkeys were dead.

Cabrera was arrested on charges of trafficking an endangered species.

Cabrera told authorities he was carrying the monkeys in a suitcase but decided to put them in his girdle "so the X-rays wouldn't hurt them."

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Filed by Nicholas Sabloff  |