The phrase of ‘cheeky monkey’ may sound funny to describe the agility of a monkey when seizing goods, especially food from humans.
CNN Travel reports that a study published in the scientific journal Royal Society examines the behavior of monkeys at Uluwatu Temple, Bali, Indonesia, which often steal items such as bags, hats, glasses, telephones even though they realize they are not food.
Researchers found that adult monkeys with long tails are smart enough to understand which items are the most valuable to humans and will release them only after obtaining valuable food.
In this study, the researcher explained that the behavior is a process of ‘trading’ between monkeys and humans.
Scientists from Canada’s Lethbridge University and Indonesia’s Udayana University also found that monkeys stole things from humans as a symbol of asking for food.
The research was conducted for 273 days from 2015 to 2016 with further observations carried out in 2019.
Researchers in the study looked at the monkeys’ reactions when confronted with visitors, approaching them with cunning, stealing methods and ‘drama’ of resigning themselves to food.