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Man Caught Smuggling Titi Monkeys in Girdle

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By Tanya Roth, Esq. on July 21, 2010 9:58 AM

This case is one of a man breaking one of the great unwritten rules of life: do not stuff monkeys down your girdle. While you are trying to make the picture in your head go away, further explanation will be provided. One, Roberto Cabrera, was arrested after authorities at Mexico City's International Airport searched him and found 18 titi monkeys (genus Callicebus) stuffed in pouches attached to his girdle.

Officials noticed, reports the Associated Press for CBSNews, that Cabrera became "markedly nervous" when approached and asked what the unsightly bulge under his shirt was. Of course, Cabrera's sweaty demeanor could have been the result of the dozen-plus monkeys hidden on his person, two of which sadly, were already dead. 

Authorities from the Public Safety Department have said that the 38 year-old Cabrera arrived on a flight from Lima, Peru, Friday carrying his small passengers. He claimed he had bought the 6-inch monkeys as pets, for $30, according to a report by CNN. Unfortunately for Cabrera, his "pets" are contraband without the required permit to own. The titi monkeys he was caught smuggling are a protected species.

Cabrera was arrested and charged with trafficking an endangered species. If Cabrera was heading to the U.S., he likely would have run afoul of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, whose responsibility it is to prevent the illegal import of endangered species into the country. 

One last bizarre note in this bizarre story. Cabrera did mention to the authorities that he had originally planned to carry the tiny titis in his suitcase. But out of an abundance of care, decided to pack them in his girdle instead, "so the X-rays wouldn't hurt them."

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