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Monkey in bullet proof vest found dead in Mexico after bloody cartel shootout

·2 min read

A spider monkey wearing a bulletproof vest and other body armour was found dead following a shootout between police and a drug cartel in Mexico, according to reports.

The monkey – which authorities believe belonged to a cartel group member – was killed during a shootout on Tuesday in Texcaltitlan, a town roughly 63 miles southwest of Mexico City.

Images of the monkey wearing a tiny camouflage jacket and small “bullet-proof” vest appeared online following the shootout.

Mexico state authorities later confirmed the authenticity of the images as well as the monkey’s death, the Associated Press reported on Friday.

It remains unclear how the monkey, who was also wearing a diaper, was exactly killed however. Reports suggest the hail of gunfire or its owner was to blame.

“A primate was killed at the scene, which was presumably owned by a criminal who was also killed at the scene,” said state prosecutors in a statement.

“An autopsy will be carried out on the animal by a veterinarian specialised in the species”, the State of Mexico added.

The small primate’s death came alongside that of 11 gang members who reportedly attacked local security forces in the State of Mexico municipality. The shootout then ensued.

Security forces responding to the shooting in Texcaltitlan, Mexico (REUTERS)
Security forces responding to the shooting in Texcaltitlan, Mexico (REUTERS)

Seven gang members were arrested and some also sustained injuries.

Those individuals appeared in court on Saturday and were identified as members of the Familia Michoacana cartel, who have been accused of attempted murder and other charges. They are due to appear in court again in the coming days.

In typical Mexican tradition, the deceased monkey received its own “corrida,” a folk ballad often composed in honour of dead drug cartel members, which said: “Life is very short, it wasn’t the monkey’s turn (to die)”.

Authorities were considering animal-trafficking charges against the suspects who survived the shootout, earlier reports said.

Elsewhere in Mexico last week, a Bengal tiger was pictured walking the streets of Tecuala, in the Pacific coast state of Nayarit, and another tiger bit a man’s hand off – eventually killing him.

While keeping exotic pets is permitted with a licence in Mexico, experts told reporters that drug gangs often avoid doing so and that pets such as monkeys or tigers were considered status symbols.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press