If You're Willing To Pay Their Ransom, These Monkeys Will Kindly Return Your Belongings
Chris Packham, host of World's Sneakiest Animals, is on a mission to find out what the, well you read the show title, are up to. His most recent exploring lead him to a land of tourists, where monkeys have found a way to get exactly what they want from them. They don't do any tricks to get their attention. They don't "monkey around," if you will. Rather, these monkeys have mastered the art of thievery, and they do it as a means of survival. Surprisingly, it's not food that they're swiping.
Near a temple in Uluwatu, Indonesia, these monkeys hang out and await their prey. Their prey is unsuspecting tourists of the area, and at first glance, you'd surely be unsuspecting of any thievish activities either–just look at them.
As tourists take in the spectacular views, these monkeys plot their next move. A move that could be the difference between them eating and not that day. But, ever the astute creatures, these monkeys put people in a position to make a deal they can't refuse–if they want their items back, that is.
First, they scope out what they want to nab from a tourist blindly gazing at the spectacular view. It's the perfect place to sneak up on a person because nobody would be looking at monkeys when you could soak up the sites.
That's when these monkeys grab whatever personal possession they can from a passerby, whether it be sunglasses, a cell phone or in the case of one unfortunate young girl–flip flops. But, what could a monkey really do with any of these items? They can't eat them, and they certainly aren't going to be making any calls anytime soon.
Well, years of training and experience among countless tourists has taught these monkeys a valuable, yet unnatural skill: bartering.
That's Packham trying his best to get his phone back from a monkey. The monkey yawns at one of his offerings and scoffs at the other. These monkeys not only steal in hopes for a food exchange, they're picky about what food they're willing to take.
You can watch Packham's entire documentation here, and find out if he's able to sway this particular monkey into giving him his phone back with the right food option.
What's funny about all this is usually you'd see a sign explaining how you shouldn't feed wildlife, because then they become dependent on humans to get food for them. In this instance, however, these monkeys have circumvented that and simply force humans to hand over the grub.