A dead monkey in a shipping container saw biosecurity officers swing into action in Whāngārei last week.
A staff member at BBS Timbers found the dehydrated monkey body squeezed between sawn timber packs upon opening the container.
The fumigated container had arrived from Guyana.
The facility quickly alerted Biosecurity New Zealand, which advised how to remove the monkey. A biosecurity officer followed up with an inspection and picked up the body for disposal.
"The whole response worked extremely well. We were contacted by the business very early and our officers quickly jumped into gear," says Biosecurity New Zealand spokesperson Stu Rawnsley.
"You can't ask for anything more than that when it comes to protecting New Zealand from biosecurity risk.
"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."
The monkey body was in a poor condition. The species has not been identified.
BBS Timbers is a registered transitional facility with trained biosecurity staff to check arriving cargo.
There are currently more than 4,300 transitional facilities in New Zealand. They are strictly regulated by Biosecurity New Zealand.