BROWNSVILLE, Texas — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers confiscated six live monkeys in a vehicle at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The incident occurred Wednesday at the Veterans International Bridge. According to CPB, a 26-year-old female U.S. citizen in a 2021 Toyota sedan tried to cross the border from Mexico. When CBP officers performed a secondary inspection on the vehicle, they found the monkeys in a backpack and a purse in the vehicle.

“Our frontline officers continue to exercise vigilance and for the second time this month intercepted a significant amount of live monkeys hidden within a passenger vehicle,” said Acting Port Director Michael B. Reyes, Brownsville Port of Entry. “CBP remains committed to preventing the exploitation of protected animals and thereby impeding the spread of animal diseases.”

Homeland Security Investigations seized the vehicle and arrested the driver. The monkeys were turned over to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and will be housed at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas.

Monkeys are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Their importation is regulated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Monkeys are prohibited from importation as pets.