Thursday, 14 January 2021

Bali Macaques Go Capitalist

A study by Dr Jean-Baptiste Leca, on Long-tailed macaques in Uluwatu temple in Bali, has revealed that these monkeys have become distinctly entreprenurial (https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/jan/14/balis-thieving-monkeys-seek-bigger-ransoms-for-high-value-swag-study). These canny primates have learned to recognise 'high value' items, carried by unsuspecting tourists. The monkeys have noted that these can be 'stolen' and easily 'ransomed' for food rewards from the desparate tourists. The macaques apparently favour items, like mobile phones, wallets and prescription spectacles, over less-rewarding alternatives like empty camera bags and hat-pins. They aim to get the biggest bang for their 'larceny'! Monkeys, of course, have no concept of ownership or thieving.

1 comment:

Paul Brain said...

Of course, the tourists will have unconsciously conditioned the monkeys, by reacting more strongly to the removal of their treasured items and offering bigger 'bribes' for their return.

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