15 Rare Smuggled Primates Including Newborn Twins Seized By Customs Get New Home

Thirteen seized monkeys and two newborn babies delivered by a mum who was pregnant at the time of her capture will be moved to a new home in the Czech Republic.

Customs officials in the Austrian capital Vienna intercepted one emperor tamarin, two white-lipped tamarins, and 10 pygmy marmosets when they found out that only two of them had been chipped on Sunday, 12th February 2023.

They reportedly originated in the Czech Republic and were reportedly bound for Malaysia for breeding purposes, customs officials stated at the time.

The monkeys were temporarily moved to the Voesendorf animal shelter in the state of Lower Austria while waiting for authorities to decide their fate.

But their number meanwhile increased to 15 after a pair of pygmy marmosets became parents to twins in mid-March.

Image shows two of the 13 monkeys that were seized by customs in Vienna, Austria, undated photo. They were originally shipped to Malaysia in January 2023. (Newsflash)

Following the delivery, animal shelter manager Stephan Scheidl said: “Since the gestation period for these animals is around 140 days, the monkey lady was already pregnant when she came to us.

“So it was a sweet surprise for us when we discovered the two tiny monkeys.”

Now after spending nearly two months under Austrian protection, the 15 animals will reportedly be sent to a zoo in the Czech Republic.

The transfer was reportedly enabled by Austria’s Federal Minister of Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology, Leonore Gewessler.

Gewessler said: “I am very happy that the monkeys are safe and that we were able to organise a new home for them.

“The illegal trade in species is not a trivial offence, but a crime against the animals and our environment.”

She added that the majority of the monkeys were relocated over the Easter weekend, while the ‘young family’ will follow as soon as the newborns are ready.

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Georgina JadikovskaSub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency:  Newsflash

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