No longer is it cat in the hat, but it is monkey under the hat.
A man was able to smuggle his pet monkey onto an airplane. He kept the fist-size primate under his hat until passengers spotted it sitting on his ponytail.
The monkey adventure began in Lima, Peru. The man boarded a Spirit Airlines flight to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. After he landed the next morning, the man waited a few hours before catching a connecting flight to New York’s LaGuardia Airport.
During the flight, passengers around the man noticed that the one-foot tall monkey had come out from beneath his hat. They asked if he realized that there was a monkey on him.
His monkey is a pygmy marmoset which typically lives in forests and eats fruit and insects.
For the rest of the flight, the monkey sat in the man’s lap and was well-behaved.
When the plane landed, Port Authority officials were waiting for the man and his monkey. He was taken away for questioning. It is uncertain if the man will face any criminal charges.
He told authorities that he didn’t think that he was doing anything wrong. He said that he wasn’t aware of the laws and that he needed to have a permit to fly with his monkey. He said he bought the monkey when he was in Lima.
It also is unclear how the man’s monkey was undetected by US customs and security. (So monkeys are okay to go through security, but you give people the third degree when their toothpaste is 0.01 ounce over the 3 ounce limit?)
A TSA (Transportation Security Administration) spokesperson said that it is not a security issue. If the passenger came through the checkpoint, then the man and his monkey would have went through the walk through detector. They say that the animal is so small that it could have easily passed without detection.
She also added that had the monkey been carrying weapons or explosives, an alarm would have triggered. (Oh thank goodness. Good job, TSA. We’re glad that you can catch primates holding deadly and dangerous objects. What if I have my monkey hold a 6 ounce tube of toothpaste? Will you detect it then or is that how I can smuggle in a bigger size of toothpaste?) The TSA is investigating the case.
Animal control officials say that the monkey looks healthy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will take the money for disease testing and will quarantine it for 31 days.
If the monkey is healthy and well, he could end up in a zoo.
The monkey has been nicknamed Spirit.
Source: New York Daily News