Recently, Shanghai police stopped a couple driving down the highway. Upon closer inspection, they found two monkeys inside the woman’s pants.
Out on the highway, the woman was unable to give a solid explanation as for why a pair of primates were stuffed down her trousers. Back at the police station, they eventually confessed to stealing them from Shanghai’s Sheshan National Forest Park back in August, luring the monkeys over with bread before snatching them. Since then, they had kept the two animals as pets, dressing them up in “cute” costumes.
The two monkeys were later identified as a pair of Rhesus macaques, a class two protected species in China. The couple have been taken into custody and could face five to ten years in prison — but more likely a slap on the wrist. Though, in September, a man was given a six-month prison sentence for stealing a black swan from a Shanghai park, taking it home and eating it.
In China, more and more people are starting to keep monkeys as exotic, illegal pets, sometimes showing them off on popular video sharing platforms like Meipai and Miaopai. Last year, the thumb-sized pygmy marmoset, the world’s smallest monkey, became all the rage as an accessory for wealthy Chinese.