This week, a spider monkey actually dressed as a drug cartel mascot was shot to death, a 450-pound tiger roamed the streets of the Pacific coast state of Nayarit, and a man died after attempting to pet a captive tiger in a narco area of western Michoacan state.
Exotic animals have long been a part of Mexico’s criminal world, much like images from a narco television show.
Pics from the scene of a gunfight in Texcaltitlan on Tuesday, in which 11 drug gang members were killed, showed a small monkey sprawled across the body of a dead assailant who was evidently his owner, dressed in a small camouflage jacket as well as a miniature “bullet-proof” vest.
Officials in Mexico validated the photos’ authenticity, but said it was uncertain whether the monkey, who was also wearing a diaper, ended up dead in the hail of gunfire that killed his owner.
“A primate was killed at the scene, presumably owned by a criminal who was also killed at the scene,” state prosecutors said in a statement, adding that “an autopsy will be performed on the animal by a veterinarian specialized in the species” and animal-trafficking charges would indeed be taken into account against the accused persons who did survive the shootout.
The Attorney General for Environmental Protection seized a tiger in Tecuala, Nayarit, near the Sinaloa cartel’s home, on Wednesday.
The office acted after receiving reports of a Bengal tiger roaming Tecuala and found it was illegally kept there.
These reports were based on a video posted on social media this week showing a young woman screaming as she encountered a tiger in a residential street. A woman in the video says, “Be quiet, it might come close.”