Cheeky Thieving Monkeys Are Stealing Valuables From Tourists Then Holding Them To Ransom

If you ever find yourself in Bali and you're visiting the Pura Luhur Uluwatu sea temple, then beware the sneaky cheeky monkeys that live there. BBC naturalist and wildlife expert Chris Packham visited the temple for his TV show World's Sneakiest Amimals.

He was there because these monkeys steal all kinds of belongings from the unsuspecting tourists milling around. Sunglasses, flip flops, smartphones, hats, anything they can grab relatively easily and then retreat with is fair game.

Strangely, while they have no shame taking all these personal possessions, they're not taking any food from the tourists. And there's a reason—because they have a cunning plan.

Rather than just take any old piece of food, ending up with whatever they can sneak off us humans, they take the objects we hold dear and then barter with the person they've taken then from. That way they can wait until they get a snack they really want. YES, that's right, they are holing the stolen booty for ransom.

As Packham demonstrates in the video when he lets them steal his phone, they get to pick and choose exactly what food they get. He offers the criminal monkey peanuts, the thieving simian scoffs at them. Bananas? No, try again Packham. Finally he offers up some eggs and only then does this master briber relinquish Packham's phone. Clever. Very clever.

Don't blame them though. They didn’t choose the thug life, the thug life chose them.


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