20 Dec 2019

Biosecurity called after dead monkey found in shipping container

2:31 pm on 20 December 2019

A monkey has been found dead in a shipping container in Whangarei.

Close-up of closed cargo container on lock, sealed container in warehouse area

Photo: 123rf.com

The dehyrated monkey body was found squeezed between sawn timber packs by a staff member at BBS Timbers, Biosecurity New Zealand said.

The fumigated container had arrived from Guyana last week.

Authorities were alerted and a biosecurity officer picked up the body to dispose of it.

Biosecurity New Zealand spokesperson Stu Rawnsley said officers quickly jumped into gear after they were contacted by BBS Timber.

"This was definitely one of our more unusual interceptions, but we need to remember the dead animal could have been harbouring diseases or hitchhiker pests with the potential to damage New Zealand's economy and environment," he said.

The monkey body was in poor condition and the species has not been identified.

BSS Timbers is a registered transitional facility with trained biosecurity staff to check arriving cargo.

There are currently more than 4300 transitional facilities in New Zealand. They are strictly regulated by Biosecurity New Zealand.