Houston: Workers at a US refinery got a surprise when they opened a crate of valves shipped from India and found the remains of two "stowaway" monkeys, which had been there for at least a year.
While working to unload a crate of valves shipped from India, BP Whiting Refinery contractors encountered the dead animals on Wednesday and contacted plant security.
After the finding, plant security worked to evacuate the area to investigate the matter, it was reported.
BP spokesman Scott Dean said the valves were part of a shipment from India and the company promptly consulted with state and federal authorities on how to handle the situation.
Dean said the animals were likely stowaways and the remains have been sent off-site in following guidance from the Centres of Disease Control and Prevention.
Dean reaffirmed comments a BP spokesman provided on Wednesday that there was never a threat to workers or the community. He said the company plans to follow up with its shipper and equipment supplier about the incident.
"Sadly in this age of global transport of goods and materials, sometimes wildlife finds its way into overseas shipments," Dean said in a statement on Thursday.
The primate-containing wooden crate arrived in Louisiana in June 2011 before being shipped to Whiting a few weeks ago, Dean said.