In a country that often boasts of its successes in protecting its wildlife, a photo showing two officers from the Costa Rican National Police Force with a cooked monkey does not offer up a good look.
The officers in question were working the anti-drug patrol in the Talamanca region in southern Costa Rica when, according to a news release from the Public Security Ministry, they came upon an indigenous camp in the area where locals were cooking a monkey on an open flame.
An uproar arose on social media after a photo surfaced that apparently shows the National Police Force officers posing next to the monkey, oneof them with a piece of monkey meat in his hand. However, Public Security Ministry authorities denied that the police officers had anything to do with killing or cooking the monkey.
The Public Security Ministry release stated that the officers took pictures and then shared them in a WhatsApp group. It also stated that members of the indigenous group explained to police that they often cook and eat monkeys to survive.
The ministry is still investigating the behavior of the two officers, who were in the Talamanca region to eradicate illegal marijuana plantations that are often discovered in isolated parts of the mountains.