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A monkey wearing a 'bulletproof' vest has been found dead following a gunfight between a Mexican cartel and the local authorities.
Police in the town of Texcaltitlan in Mexico City detained a number of suspects following the shootout with members of the La Familia Michoacana cartel on Tuesday (14 June), but 10 men were killed on the scene and one more died in hospital.
The spider monkey was found lying dead among the gangsters, with images shared online showing the deceased animal dressed in a small bulletproof-style vest, a nappy and a camouflage jacket.
According to The Mexico Daily Post, the monkey was believed to be the pet of a man in his 20s who was found dead following the gunfire with several bullet wounds.
Mexican authorities have confirmed the authenticity of images of the monkey, though they said it was unclear whether or not it had died as a result of the gunfire that took place on Tuesday.
In a statement cited by The Guardian, state prosecutors said: "A primate was killed at the scene, which was presumably owned by a criminal who was also killed at the scene."
A veterinarian who specialises in the species is set to carry out an autopsy on the monkey to help further determine the circumstances leading to its death.
Authorities will consider whether to bring animal-trafficking charges against the surviving suspects.
Mono Araña Disfrazado de Sicario Murió Durante Enfrentamiento en Texcaltitlán— Palestra Ags (@PalestraAgs) June 16, 2022
Traía Chaleco Camuflado y Quedó Inerte Abrazado a su Dueño.
La Fiscalía General de Justicia del Estado de México (FGJ-Edomex) Confirmó la Muerte del Mono. pic.twitter.com/4Mcoi0HFai
Police seized a number of weapons, including firearms, vehicles and cartridges, through the encounter, while images released by the Attorney General's Office of the State of Mexico showed five men and three women have been detained. A minor under the age of 15 was also arrested.
The day after the shootout took place, the Attorney General for Environmental Protection in Mexico said it had seized a tiger in Tecuala in the Pacific coast state of Nayarit, which lies near the border with Sinaloa, home to the Sinaloa cartel.
The Attorney General's Office said it had received reports about a Bengal tiger 'wandering the streets' and found the animal was being kept there illegally. The tiger’s claws and fangs had been removed, and footage shared online showed a man throwing a rope over the tiger’s neck and leading it away.
Security analyst David Saucedo told Associated Press Mexican drug traffickers often keep exotic animals as a symbol of status and power after copying the Medellín cartel in Colombia.
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Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@PalestraAgs/@FiscaliaEdomex
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