Peru: Circus Caught with Protected Jungle Monkeys

(LIP-ir) — Two monkeys were seized from the African Circus, located in Lima’s northern region, by the Ecological Police Division today, when circus owners could not come up with the necessary documents to prove that the Peruvian jungle monkeys had been legally attained.

Chief of the Environmental Protection Office in Peru, Juan Torres explained that the White-fronted Spider Monkeys (Ateles belzebuth) would be taken to a housing unit in Cieneguilla until it was established where they came from.

According to Chief Torres this class of monkey is protected, which means that its use or having it in captivity are acts which can be penalized by the Public Ministry. Punishments can consist of fines of more than 2 million soles.

Peru’s Ecological Police Division inspected 7 circuses to verify they met legal standards, the African Circus was the only found not meeting these standards. Apart from not being able to provide documents proving the monkeys’ origin, animals were found in bad conditions.

Police reported that 7 Bengal tigers were in one cage and had signs of malnutrition as well as two lions in unhealthy states.

Peru’s Police assured that more inspections would take place to make sure that Circuses met necessary requirements to function during this time, Independence Day Holidays,when circuses are most popular.

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