Animals often do the craziest things, surprising humans daily with how compassionate and intelligent they can be. Amateur photographer Anne Young was reminded of this fact one day in October 2008 as she watched some monkeys interacting.
Young was visiting the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in the Ubud region of Bali, Indonesia and was trying to capture some good photographs of the monkeys there when she noticed something strange. One of the monkeys was cradling something small and furry close to his chest.
When Young got a better look, she noticed that it was a male long-tailed macaque monkey and he was cradling a small, orange kitten. Young was blown away. She was just there to capture photos of some wild monkeys. She did not expect to see such an odd yet adorable sight.
Apparently, the kitten had been abandoned and then adopted by the monkey. It’s not typically unusual for mothers from other species to take in a lost or abandoned baby of a differing species, but this monkey was a male. While it’s not unheard of, we don’t typically think of male animals carrying those same “motherly instincts” as their female counterparts.
While some patriarchal monkeys tend to act territorial and aggressive towards other species, this long-tailed macaque monkey was the complete opposite. Anne Young shared that the monkey actually kept the tiny kitten close to his chest, nuzzled it affectionately, and even shielded it from foreign invaders.
Young explains that when the monkey would let go of the kitten, he would stop it from roaming too far away. He would also groom the kitten from time to time, which is a clear sign of companionship and love.
Young also explains that the male monkey didn’t really like her taking photographs of the kitten. He would shield the kitten from the camera lens and even covered the small cat with a leaf when he felt that the woman got too close.
The other monkeys in the area didn’t seem to mind the kitten. Instead, they tended to ignore it, which Young assumed was a sign of acceptance towards the tiny feline.
While it’s unclear to Anne Young why the male monkey might have adopted the stray kitten, he obviously seemed very happy with the tiny cat. Hopefully the unlikely duo enjoys their time together – however long that might be. Whether or not they end up parting, it’s extraordinary to see such compassion and affection between two very different species in this world.
Watch the video below to see the monkey and his kitten in action.
All screenshots taken from demulinz / YouTube.