Mexican police killed a pet monkey during a deadly raid on a Mexican drug cartel, despite the monkey being dressed in a bulletproof vest.
The animal’s owner was among 11 cartel members killed in a shootout Tuesday, according to the U.K. Sun.
The monkey had been a pet of a member of La Familia Michoacana.
“A primate was killed at the scene, which was presumably owned by a criminal who was also killed at the scene,” Mexican prosecutors said in a statement, according to the Guardian.
“An autopsy will be carried out on the animal by a veterinarian specialized in the species,” the statement said.
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The gun battle between police and the cartel took place in Texcaltitlan, which is about 60 miles southwest of Mexico City in central Mexico.
The spider monkey was found dead with its owner wearing a khaki hooded jacket. The monkey was also wearing a diaper.
In addition to those killed, another 10 people were arrested, the Sun reported.
Authorities said they will investigate whether the monkey, who as a spider monkey is a member of a protected species, was illegally trafficked by the cartel.
Security analyst David Saucedo said cartel members keep exotic pets as a status symbol.
“Mexican drug traffickers copied from the Medellín cartel the custom of acquiring exotic animals and setting up private zoos,” he told the Guardian.
“According to the code of the drug trafficking aristocracy, having a private zoo was a prerequisite for being part of the circle of big-time drug traffickers,” he said.
Police have also reported that a tiger was spotted in Tecuala, more than 400 miles northwest of Texcaltitlan and was presumably a pet of a cartel, according to the Sun.
Police said they seized the animal “after receiving reports about a Bengal tiger that was wandering the streets of Tecuala,” the Guardian reported.
However, some animals are not always good pets.
In the Mexican state of Michoacán, a man was killed in a tiger attack that took place while the man was feeding the animal, according to the Guardian.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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