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In a tropical forest beside the Panama Canal, two endangered, black-handed spider monkeys swing about their wire enclosure balanced by their long tails. They arrived at this government rehabilitation center after environmental authorities seized them from people who had been keeping them as pets. Panamanian authorities are trying to raise awareness about the dangers — to humans and wildlife — of keeping wild animals in their homes. While spider monkeys are usually friendly to humans, officials warn they can become dangerous and aggressive when they reach sexual maturity. This month, Panama hosted the World Wildlife Conference, where participants voted to tighten some restrictions on the international trade in animals and plants.

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Veterinarian Mariana Parks holds a toucan that was given medical care prior to being released back into the wild, at a Ministry of the Environment rehabilitation center in Panama City, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022. This new government rehabilitation center, which was built on land adjacent to former U.S. military facilities, began receiving animals during the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

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A monkey looks out from its cage at a Ministry of Environment rehabilitation center in Panama City, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Panamanian authorities are trying to raise awareness about the dangers, to humans and wildlife, of keeping wild animals in their homes. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

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A spider monkey sits inside a cage at a Ministry of Environment rehabilitation center that protects wild animals rescued from illicit trafficking networks, in Panama City, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Spider monkeys are among the most popular wild pets, said Erick Núñez, the Environment Ministry's chief of national biodiversity. "They're usually friendly with people ... however, when they reach the age of sexual maturity, when they become jealous, they can become aggressive and attack people," he said. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

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A spider monkey swings inside a cage at a Ministry of Environment rehabilitation center that protects wild animals rescued from illicit trafficking networks, in Panama City, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Black-handed spider monkeys are listed in the most endangered category of international species, and Panama's Ministry of Environment say they are in "critical danger." Trade in the monkeys is permitted only in exceptional circumstances. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

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Alex Lane walks his dog, Niay, a German Shepherd mix, through the snow on the West Side, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022 in Buffalo, N.Y. Residents of northern New York state are digging out from a dangerous lake-effect snowstorm that had dropped nearly 6 feet of snow in some areas and caused three deaths. The Buffalo metro area was hit hard, with some areas south of the city receiving more than 5 feet by early Saturday. (Libby March /The Buffalo News via AP)

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Alex Lane walks his dog, Niay, a German Shepherd mix, through the snow on the West Side, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022 in Buffalo, N.Y. Residents of northern New York state are digging out from a dangerous lake-effect snowstorm that had dropped nearly 6 feet of snow in some areas and caused three deaths. The Buffalo metro area was hit hard, with some areas south of the city receiving more than 5 feet by early Saturday. (Libby March /The Buffalo News via AP)

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FILE - An American alligator basks in lily pads besides a wilderness water trail in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, April 6, 2022, in Fargo, Ga. Conservation groups filed suit Tuesday, Nov. 15, against a U.S. government agency challenging its decision to allow a mining project to move forward without federal permits near the edge of the Okefenokee Swamp's vast wildlife refuge. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, File)

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A disabled evacuee from Kherson pets his cat while waiting for someone to help him get off a bus upon his arrival to Dzhankoi, Crimea, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered a troop withdrawal from Kherson and nearby areas on Wednesday. (AP Photo)

Greece's prime minister says U.S. energy giant Exxon Mobil is poised to start a delayed gas prospecting project off southwestern Greece. The move comes amid tensions over offshore rights between Greece and Turkey and as Europe seeks alternative energy sources due to the war in Ukraine. The exploration project has been heavily criticized by environmental groups, which argue that the deep-sea prospecting would have “unbearable” consequences to endangered Mediterranean whales and dolphins. Critics also highlight the potential risk of spills, and say the project, if successful, would increase Greece’s use of fossil fuels amid the planet’s climate change crisis.