Monkey business lands Chinese couple in hot water

Pair held for keeping protected species as pets after police find two in their car

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 October, 2017, 12:42pm
UPDATED : Monday, 30 October, 2017, 2:27pm

A Chinese couple have been arrested on suspicion of keeping protected monkeys as pets, mainland media has reported.

The couple were stopped by police on October 20 at a routine checkpoint near Shanghai while they were driving along a section of the Shenyang-Haikou Expressway.

Police became suspicious as the woman in the passenger seat had a monkey on her lap, according to an article published on Sunday on the website of Shanghai Observer.

The woman was then taken into the inspection room and police found that she was covering another monkey with her clothes.

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The two monkeys, both dressed in pet clothes, were later confirmed to be Rhesus macaques, a Class Two protected species in China. Anyone found guilty of catching or killing them could face a prison term of between five and 10 years, and a fine.

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The couple were quoted as saying they had kept the monkeys as pets since August.

They said they used bread to attract the monkeys in Sheshan National Forest Park in Shanghai, and then took them home in a bag.