Why Do Monkeys Steal Babies?

February 14, 2024

Monkeys are fascinating creatures that resemble humans in many ways. Despite their wild nature, they are very intelligent. One thing that makes them a fascinating subject to study is their complex behavior and family dynamics. Monkeys often steal other monkey babies which can be very disturbing and shocking to people not familiar with this natural phenomenon. The reason behind monkey baby stealing can be quite complicated and is largely based on social structures, environmental conditions, and infertility issues.

Typically, female higher-rank monkeys kidnap other monkey babies. They do this to control the population of their troop and make it harder for lower-rank females to reproduce. By stealing other monkeys babies, females of higher rank can manipulate their position and ensure that only their offspring remain in the group.

The low-rank females cannot fight back when their baby is stolen, so they are at a greater risk of being attacked by their superiors. Additionally, female monkeys that do not have offspring can be killed by male monkeys to make space for their own offspring. Therefore, it is essential that low-rank females keep their babies from being stolen.

Although monkeys can also be found in research centres, sanctuaries and zoo’s they are most commonly seen in jungle areas of Southern Asia or Africa. It is less common for them to be captured for interaction with humans. Typically, monkeys kidnap other monkeys for food, as a form of play or just out of curiosity. It is important to note that monkeys (especially Macaques) can carry Hepatitis B which is lethal to human babies. However, a human would have to be bitten by a monkey for this disease to be transmitted.


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